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There is a shelving war going on right now in juvie books over how to properly shelve the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm not really sure who's involved, but every time I shelve the books they're in a different order. Publication order, chronological order, ordered by the number on the spine, alphabetically (which is how they're MEANT to be shelved, thank you very much)... it boggles the mind.

Also, am I the only one who would be slightly uneasy about reading a children's book by Colin Meloy?

Also also, for your consideration, I submit The Tadpole's Promise for the title of Most Horrifying Children's Book In The World. Link leads to a video reading of the book.


( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 6th, 2012 09:11 am (UTC)
Re. Chronicles of Narnia, I'd just leave them alone and let the other person have their way since for us all fiction books are just filed by author and that's it. We don't even differentiate between different people with the same surname :P

Not sure I understand the Colin Meloy bit. I've not heard of him, but he seems to be a folk-rock musician with a small child? Folklore and mythology is the starting point for Children's lit for me, so I connect folk music > folk literature > Children's lit fine :) Might easily be missing something about the guy.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:19 am (UTC)
Oh, he has a small child? I didn't know that. I just know him as the lyricist for The Decemberists, who write some frankly pretty disturbing songs. I'm pretty sure that he writes excellent childrens' books; it was just my immediate reaction was "...really?"

Hah, yeah, I've given up. I'll just file them the way they're currently filed and let them battle it out.
Dec. 6th, 2012 11:04 am (UTC)
"Also, am I the only one who would be slightly uneasy about reading a children's book by Colin Meloy?"

I loved it.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:20 am (UTC)
I'm sure that it's fantastic! It's just that my association with Colin Meloy is "Culling of the Fold" so my immediate response was "...um?" XD
Dec. 6th, 2012 11:45 am (UTC)
Our current shelving war is in the teen graphic novels...one woman staunchly maintains that they should be shelved by author, while the rest of us right-thinkers shelve them alphabetically by series, since that's how the teens hunt for them, and since many series have multiple authors.

In a related story, it makes me twitch to see series shelved apart from one another (like the 'paranormal topics' YA non-fic books which cover topics from witchcraft to esp to ghosts to bigfoot. Their call nos. are all different, and it drives me up the wall. I understand why, I just don't have to like it.)
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:20 am (UTC)
Ugh, yes. My library has fortunately taken to shelving things like the Magic School Bus all in one place, so at least kids can find those.
Dec. 6th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
I guess maybe I'm in the minority but I don't think shelving series alphabetically by title makes any sense at all except to librarians, so it kind of strikes me as pretentious - one of those things we do because we know better than everyone else how to organize information. I get that it fits the model of other shelving rules, but why wouldn't we shelve things the way people are going to want to read them? I hate having to search through bunches of pages because the publisher refused to number them for whatever reason on the spine or cover, and I love it when the library has gone to the trouble of researching and putting the numbers on the spines for me and shelved them in numerical order so I can see at a glance what's there and what's not. We started doing this in one of our YA sections and circulation actually went up. It just makes sense to me in terms of "finding" things.

However, if you have a set policy on how to shelve series, I'd bring it up to get everyone on the same page. If someone feels strongly that the policy should be changed, they'll say something, and you can have that discussion. If you don't have a policy, maybe it's a good time to make one. Everyone doing whatever they want isn't any good type of organization system, no matter how well-intentioned.

BTW, Narnia kills me because they switched the order of the books with a reprint a couple of years ago and just no no no Magician's Nephew is ALWAYS book 6 to me forever and ever. I suspect you have another die-hard Narnia lover on staff if they're being shelved chronologically. I personally wouldn't shelve them that way (realizing that it's my own personal pet peeve and wouldn't necessarily make sense to the average new reader), but I would gladly tell anyone I checked them out to that the original order is the best order.
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
The discussion over the Narnia books always reminds me of my Children's librarian's firm opinions about the Dark is Rising sequence. She always gave out _The Dark is Rising_ first, followed by _Over Sea, Under Stone_, because she felt that DIR did a better job of drawing the reader in to Cooper's world than the first book.
Dec. 6th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Clynne, you just made my day, your LJicon is practically the same as my steam icon. (:
Dec. 7th, 2012 08:10 am (UTC)
HK40K! It's a classic!

Glad to make someone happy!
Dec. 7th, 2012 07:23 am (UTC)
We always shelve by Author (including the first name), then the pub date (reprints annoy me so much, because half the time the books have the new release pub date, even when nothing has been added to the book). If there is a series and it is numbered easily, we do that, as well.
My Boss used to have it organized by Author, then title, so when we moved to a new building, I just rearranged things and didn't tell her :D Took her three years before it even came up :)
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
It's the library policy, which is the only reason I've been resorting them, but you know what, I've just given up. Kids can still find them, they're all in the same place, and it seems like a completely ridiculous thing to fight about, so. I guess if it becomes a problem someone can bring it up with the page coordinator.
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
Someone actually PUBLISHED that awful book about the frog and the caterpillar? I would never ever put that out on the shelf. It would languish in the furthest dark corner of the farthest back bookshelf in the staff room.
Dec. 7th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
I see some horrible books as well. As much as I am tempted to do something with them, the thought that people can read it for free and realize just how horrible they are without buying it - that is a win to me :)
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
Hahah, true! Maybe that's why we've kept it.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:21 am (UTC)
Yes. Yes they did. And someone bought it for our library.
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
RE Colin Meloy I read that book and it was boooooring. I had other problems with it. But seriously it should have been only about a quarter of the length it was.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
I have not read it and have no idea what it's about; it was just that my immediate association was the song "Culling of the Fold" and it made me do a bit of a double-take. But your thoughts are noted, thank you!
Dec. 12th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
My main problem with it was that he tried to get around the "kid solving problems because parents are out of the picture" by not having the parents care about the missing little brother. It struck me as grossly untrue, that they both tried to talk her out of going after her brother and then let her go after him.

Anyway I won't be reading the sequel that just came out. :)
Dec. 6th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
I loved Wildwood and Under Wildwood. And my mom read it to her fifth graders last year/earlier this year (until she got sick, and her sub finished it) and they adored it.

Edited at 2012-12-06 03:56 pm (UTC)
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:23 am (UTC)
I'm sure that it is very good! I just did a double-take on seeing that it was by the same person as "Culling of the Fold."
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Being a fan of the Decembrists, I have no problem with the idea of Colin Meloy writing a kids book. I didn't even know he has until you mentioned it here. So, I've downloaded to my Kindle already.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:23 am (UTC)
I'm a fan of the Decemberists too, and I'm sure that it's a very good book. I just did a doubletake on seeing that the same guy who wrote Culling of the Fold wrote a children's book too. Genre whiplash. :D
Dec. 6th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Just because I had to....

its a mystery
Dec. 6th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC)
literally just LOL'd
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:23 am (UTC)
XD Oh my god.
Dec. 6th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
This might sound horrifying, but we don't shelve the children's series in order at all. They're together by series/author, but we don't attempt to keep them in order by number of the book in the series, title, or anything. It's sometimes annoying, but I think patrons would get them out of order almost instantly anyway.

Wildwood was okay. There wasn't anything overly disturbing in it...no drowning or joint suicide, anyway. :p

I listened to the tadpole book thinking "Well, this isn't so bad!" and then the end...D:
Dec. 6th, 2012 06:54 pm (UTC)
We do it the same way, just get all the books in the series together and leave it at that. When you're talking about one shelf or so worth of books, the cost/ benefit ratio stops being in favor of exact order. You spend more time trying to keep the shelf in exact order than you would finding the individual books for patrons if they were a little mixed up.
Dec. 7th, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
I spent the whole 3 minutes or so of the tadpole book thinking, "ugh, is this going to be another one of those stories where, if you TRULY LOVE the person, you'll forgive them for lying all the time?" I was kind of relieved at the end where the liar shows that, yep, after he lies to you all the time, then when you go back and give him one last chance, he kills you.

Mind you, I wouldn't give that book to a child. Probably. But as an adult there was a certain cynical satisfaction.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
I think that if it's intended for adults, along the lines of "Go the Fuck To Sleep," it would probably be very good! But. Um. For kids?
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
As long as patrons can find them! My primary objection to the Chronicles shelving war is that it's library policy being ignored. But I've since given up. The kids can still find them, it is no longer my problem.

Hahahah, yeah, that was my double-take moment.

THE END I KNOW. Just. What.
Dec. 6th, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
Okay, I may be showing my ignorance here, but I have not heard of Tadpole's Promise until now. Wow, what a depressing ending! I wouldn't read that to any little kid.

As for the series books, I like them in alphabetical order because that's the way my brain works, but I know the patrons (and even some of the librarians) would rather see them in chronological order considering that is how patrons search for them.

I think it should be whatever way works best for your library.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:25 am (UTC)
I hadn't either until our circulation librarian came busting into the back room going "YOU GUYS HAVE TO READ THIS OH MY GOD." And lo, the entire back room staff did wtf.
Dec. 6th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Also, am I the only one who would be slightly uneasy about reading a children's book by Colin Meloy?

Possibly? I didn't know he'd written one, honestly. It's a collaboration between him and his wife (she's the illustrator). The transition from folk music to storytelling isn't too much of a leap.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:26 am (UTC)
No, not at all! It was just a genre whiplash double-take moment. I'm sure that it's very good.
Dec. 6th, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
I remember when I was young, I would go to my local library and just look at the numbers on the spine for the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and Alfred Hitchcock series. I would have gone nuts if I have to remember the titles I had read, it was easier for me to remember the numbers since all the titles seems to be so similar.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:26 am (UTC)
*nods* As long as they have numbers on the spine, yeah, that's a really good way of doing it.
Dec. 6th, 2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
In my school library, I shelve books by the series order, which doesn't matter since the kids read the books out of order, anyway, even when I ask them about it.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:26 am (UTC)
Oh, interesting! I was a stickler for reading books in order as a kid, but that was just me.
Dec. 7th, 2012 12:13 am (UTC)
I think I would have liked the ending of The Tadpole's Promise as a kid, but I probably would have gagged over the beginning.
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:27 am (UTC)
Heh, I know a couple kids like you. But the vast majority of my library's child patrons would probably burst into tears.
Dec. 7th, 2012 06:14 am (UTC)
Why would you be disturbed that Colin Meloy wrote a couple of kids' books?
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
I don't think I was disturbed, per se, it was just a sort of genre-whiplash moment. I'd been listening to Culling of the Fold just that afternoon, and then I saw that he'd written Wildwood and went O.o. I'm sure it's a lovely book, though! He's a fluent and intelligent lyricist, so I'm sure his prose would be just as good.
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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