First, I'm deeply thankfull for this forum. I love reading (and re-reading) previous posts. 

I didn't find much about books (print) that contain a collection of stories and/or books and so the reason for the following question. 


How do you treat (standalone vs series) & label (call number) a fiction book which is a collection?

We have books that contain . . . .

1. a variety of stories (non-series)   

 example: An Amish Second Christmas

          ..... Stories are Written by different authors, publisher is Thomas Nelson


2,. a complete set of books in a series    

                example: Francine Rivers ...." A Lineage of Grace"  books 1 - 5


3. part of the set of a book series 

         example:  Love Comes Softly series, by Janette Oke

                      ...  Collection 1 --> bks 1 - 4  & Collection 2 ---> 5 - 8



 Thank you, Linda 


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  • Good question, Linda.  As a totally untrained librarian in a small church, I am trying to catalog and label the books in my church's library.  I rely a lot on to see how other libraries have handled various titles. Here's what I found:

    1 - collection:  For your example, some libraries used the first listed author's name, in this case Wiseman.  So if you are using FIC as your category, your label would read FIC WISEMAN (or whatever number of letters you use to designate author's names).  Other libraries used the book title rather than authors' names: FIC AMISH.

    2 - complete book series: these are labeled as any other book of fiction, such as FIC RIVERS.  If the collection is in one volume, catalog it by the collection title: "A Lineage of Grace: Five Stories of Unlikely Women Who Changed Eternity".  If they are in separate volumes, catalog them by their individual titles: "Unveiled: Tamar".  Some library catalogs show the book title with the series title and number in parentheses: "Unvelied: Tamar (The Lineage of Grace Series #1)".  I use colored round stickers at the top of the spine to show the number in the series to help with shelving and also help readers find the next book in the series they're reading.

    3 - I handle these the same as complete book series as far as labeling, then indicate the title and series numbers in the catalog: "Love Comes Softly (#1 - 4)". I have a program that sometimes automatically adds the individual titles in a multi-book volume. If it doesn't load automatically, I just indicate the series numbers but don't take the time to list each book individually. 

    Using WorldCat has convinced me that there isn't just one way to do things; oftentimes libraries don't even agree on the Dewey classification, much less how to catalog different types of books. I just try to be logical and consistent, but, as I said, I'm not a trained librarian so please take everything I've said with a grain of salt!

    • Thank you, Shirley for your thoughtful response. I'm sure other people will also benefit from it. I'll continue to digest all that is said here as I process books. 

  • Lets say the story collection is adult fiction then it would be AF the 1st three letters of the last name of the writer of the 1st story then we put SC on the third line  Right now simply because I like to move things around they are all shelved together I will probably move them in a couple months putting them were they go ABC wise.

    For a series like Lineage of Grace we would do AF RIV LofG BK 3 or what ever the book number was in the series For a while we did small 1/4 stars in different colors to show a series  Say AF RIV BK3 and all the Lineage of Grace series might have a gold star on the spine label  Only there are a few authors that have a lot of series and the stars only came in about 7 colors

    • Thank you, Adair. I think overall we're doing the same thing as you - if I understand your approach correctly. 

      We currently label as such:




      On the spine label of the book, we mark a line on the left side of the label according to its fiction type.

      Realistic Narrative Fiction

      Historical   *Blue

      Contemporary *Green

      Speculative Narrative Fiction

      Fantasy / Sci-Fi  *Yellow

      Apocalyptic *Orange

      All books are arranged in alphabetical order according to author 1st, then the Series Name call letters 2nd, then by which bk in the series. 

      We have the following sections for our fiction books: Stand-alone & Set & Series 

      _____ Does this resemble your pattern? 

    • How do you categorize your nonfiction? I like how you are categorizing the adult fiction though, I think I'll borrow some of that idea for mine. Thanks for sharing :)

      • Hi Amanda, 

        In addition to what Adair talked about. . . 

        I love the book "A Classification System for Church Libraries" which is offered for $8.99 at Lifeway It's a downloadable version with immediate access. Even though I have the previous printed version, I'm considering purchasing the downloadable so I always have access online as well. And no . . . I'm not asked to make a plug for this book! It's just that it's constantly at my side. I'm horrible at remembering numbers & plus it's good not to totally rely on memory for these numbers. This book helps church librarians to adapt the Dewey Decimal System for topics such as preaching, sermons, grief, dinosaurs and much more.  


        After I process our fiction books, I plan to finish our nonfiction books. I decided it's too complicated to reinvent the wheel by trying to think of all the different categories for nonfiction, so to speak. In addition, what if I don't think of ALL relevant nonfiction categories or later another category should be altered or added? Or what if I acquire a needed/requested book and it does not quite fit into the established categories I pulled together? With the DDS, books and other media will always find a home. Another reason we stay with the Dewey Decimal System (DDS) is that most people at our church are familiar with the DDS.

        I have some shelves labeled with the category subject & the DDS number beside the subject. 


        Witness Bearing   248.5

        When I can next get to the nonfiction section, I plan to complete these shelf labels. It helps people to browse much better.        

        FYI: We also are a small church library. 

      • I use Sears (it is an old one 19th ed. but figured that's what I started with ) to help with the non-fiction and because we are small I only use 3 digits so might have A  242 LUC which would be an adult book on prayer by Max Lucado I also have children and youth non fiction and theirs are labeled the same except with a J or Y

        The biography of an individual like Annie Armstrong  would be  A B ARM because it is about her and people can find it easily   but a book with several biographies would be J 920 HOW  (I am thinking of Ten Boys Who Changed the World by Irene Howt) because 920 is the number for biographies

        Bibles are BIB NIV or what ever the version is my goal is to have one of each major version including  ones for kids so someone can 'try it out' to see if it is a good fit for them

        There is a e-book I downloaded entitled Classification for Church Libraries and it wold be a wonderful start to help with the non fiction    

  • I agree, Ann. My sense says one thing, but I want to see what the other wise and wonderful librarians have to offer us. 

    My sense as to how to treat them . . . .

    1. Put into Standalone section

    2. Put into Series section

    3. Put into Series section


    For some reason, labeling the #2 example with a "v. 01"  or such seems a bit "deceiving" for our church group. They would expect a "v. 02".  Our library has gone off the beaten path a bit & put into the call number the book numbers such as "#1 - 4", for example, on books like example #3. 

    So instead of "v" for volume, we put  . . . #1, #2 , #3 ... on the spine label for the order in which fiction series are to be read. I hope this doesn't make other librarians on this forum cringe. 

    Then in addition, we have a set (I don't immediately recall the title/author) that is a set of a 5-book series. But interestingly enough, we have it form of 2 collections and 1 book. So each collection book contains 2 books, with the last book in the series consisting of a paperback, 1-story edition.

    ***I guess it could be v. 1 & v. 2 & v. 3?  Instead I labeled "#1-2" & "#3-4" & "5".  

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