Mary Mardiguian, Co-Librarian, Faith Presbyterian Church, Colorado sent the following question:
What is your opinion about separating adult and juvenile book collections? Our children and youth ministries wish to move the children’s books to another room serving as an activity room for children while their parents attend adult Sunday School.
Separating does not sound like a good idea to me. Both rooms are going to be staffed? Seems adult books will be forgotten about as first they check out children, then parents are supposed to go browse in the adult section while the children wait? No.
Martha Jo has pointed out the problem with separation. Whether you offer an activity area or not may depend on how your library works, but separating the two areas has been a problem at our library, reducing circulation for sure and probably usage.
Think this one through. Parents will go pick up their children and pick up books for them in the children's library. Time being precious, they won't make a second stop to the "adult" library to get something for themselves. Mistake! The best thing that parents can do is to make sure that their children have Christian parents. We have a main library with the children's room in the back. Everyone has to walk through the main library to get to the children's area. You do need to plan for an activity area, though, for story time and other events.
Back in 2018 I posted this:
We've had a good-sized library (roughly 1200 items, print and non-print), but recent church reorganization will dismantle it. The collection will be weeded to remove anything not furthering the church mission, then we will store the collection (I hope to shelve it in order for retrieval), give removed items to departments that might use them, put together a Parent Resource Collection, feature items around the church and also promote to church Small Group series. The collection is online, so members can also request items. We'll really need to talk up the online catalog and requesting.
Has anybody else a similar way of operating their collection? Suggestions? This will take a lot more work than the present more traditional library. I can't find anything similar in the Search box, but if there's a better way to find it, please say it.
This is our library's catalog CELC Library.
The adult collection nowadays is along the long wall in our main meeting room -- earlier the library had also been the main meeting room. The section for toddlers and infants has its own collection. Children's materials are near their signin area. Youth have a section in their area. In the past when an adult used the library, the children's area was right there and often led to borrowing. The current section, while convenient to use within the activity area does not seem to circulate as well. Youth may be reading books there they normally might avoid bringing home. I don't believe the split has worked as well as the former library, but it was what we did rather than lose key resources. There was a major weeding process initially. (I never removed items from our online catalog figuring anything requested, but not found, would trigger acquiring it.) The building process required storage of items for roughly a year. This past year, of course, has not been a fair test as few items have been borrowed while our church went into major reduced activity in-building.
If there is room, I prefer to keep all books in the same room. Some of my student patrons will want to check with a parent about reading level. Other parents want to encourage a student to simply check out a book, any book just to read something. For the picture books, many parents want their children to select something different rather than their favorites every time. It's always a good example for students to watch their parents choosing books as well. I find the library to be a great intergenerational space!
We have a separate room for children's books and for non-fiction. We outgrew the one room. We have decorated the children's room to attract the children and set up a children's table & chairs. Children of the Praise Team gather there sometimes when their parents are practicing. Of course, it wasn't used for the time COVID-19 was at its highest. I took a picture one time of one of the kids and captioned it "Caught Reading!"
I definitely feel that the children's and adults book should be in the same room. While shopping for a child's book, the adult May pick out something for themselves. This would not happen if the sections were in different rooms.
We do seperate adult and juveline books. We even have tags stating suggested age groups in the juvenile section.