Following the recent discussion on WASLAnet (WA’s school library listserv), I thought I’d write a post about how our browser boxes have been set up to house our junior picture book collection. Our school has used this system for a long time – long before I arrived on the scene – so it has stood the test of time and works very well.
Our students from Kindy to Year 2 borrow from this section. Kindy students learn how the system works from the first few weeks of starting school. This year’s cohort have just learnt how to use the system. While they are learning, we occasionally find books out of place (or if a student is feeling particularly lazy!) but for the most part our students are very good at following the system. We very rarely have trouble not being able to find a particular book. We have twelve browser boxes, some of which are fiction and some are non-fiction.
Each browser box has a large green circle on the front which indicates what the box contains, both the letter/dewey number and a coloured dot.
The beauty of this system is that our very young Kindy students do not need to be able to recognise letters in order to put a book back in the correct place. Instead of letter stickers on our books, we place coloured dot stickers. The photo of the book below, shows that we still spine label the book as normal and a green dot label is placed above the spine label. This indicates to anyone shelving that it belongs in the browser boxes.
You’ll also notice that in the top right hand corner of the front cover, we placed a coloured dot sticker. This corresponds to one of our browser boxes. In this case, the R fiction box.
Even from Kindy, I teach the students about spine labels and how to tell if a book is fiction or nonfiction from its spine label. As they get older, we talk about call numbers and what they mean, so despite the coloured dot system, my students are still learning library skills. Once they are in Year 3 and begin borrowing from our senior school shelves, they have a good grounding in how the shelves are organised and learn very quickly how to shelve and locate books.
The only difficulty we’ve had is we quickly ran out of different coloured dots, but solved the problem by using large dots with a smaller one in the middle or a little black dot put on with a marker, like in the example below.
When labelling our books, we have our trusty little chart next to us to ensure we label our books correctly. Please forgive the scribbles – it needs updating as we recently reorganised some of our boxes.
If you have any questions about our system, please leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.
Thanks for reading!