I'm going to start re-labeling our children's books. A few questions about picture books specifically:


1. Do you label them as "P" followed by the author? or

Do you separate Child (0-7) "C" from Juvenile (8-12) "J"


2. Is a Child book one with few words, and some that only a parent would read to a young child? When/how do you distinguish from Juvenile if you do that separation?


For other children's books (and maybe including picture books, depending on how you label them), do you separate between fiction and non-fiction? Can you please clarify for me what is considered non-fiction? eg. if it is a story book about a Bible character, is that non-fiction, even though it has information that is not "real" - ie. not word for word scripture?


Thank you!!





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  • When we took over our library, that is how it was done.  But i found it to be cumbersome and unnecessary for our needs. I can see some advantages but I am still happier with the designation we use now.

  • Non-fiction are books that are factual life of butterfly, counting or ABC books, books about real places and so forth.

    Bible related stories are in Biblical order Gen-Rev  with Old Testament stories labeled OT and New Testament one NT. Each (OT/NT)has own shelves and all of the 'kid' friendly Bibles are shelved in that area on their own shelf as well.

    We did this because so many are 'fleshed' out and not word for word scripture which technically made them fiction but we didn't like the idea of putting them in fiction 

    For adults a study on Paul would be in 200s but a fictionalized story of Paul's life would be in with fiction shelved by author

    • Adair, we also divide our Bible Stories between OT/NT in our Children's Collection. Junior, Youth, and Adult Collections receive a Dewey Decimal number accordingly.

      I like your idea of placing Bible Stories from Gen thru Rev.

      "For adults a study on Paul would be in 200s but a fictionalized story of Paul's life would be in with fiction shelved by author"

      We do the same with Junior & Youth & Adult books

  • We based ours on the AR book levels and did CF for childrens fiction, MF for for middle readers and YF for youth  We also put the AR on the spine level and wrote the book level and points on the inside to make it easy for the kids and their parents to know what level the book is We did not put the word count down but if your local school has a Million Word Club and they need to know the word count it is easy to find if you look the book up

    Non fiction books are simply J with number due to space

  • We still have fine tuning to do, but the following is the basic: 

    1. AGE FOCUS:  Children's Collection (infant thru age 7}, Junior Collection (ages 8 - 12}, & Youth {ages 13 - 17}. We don't announce ages, but use the ages as a rough guideline. 

    2. CALL NUMBERS: Children's Collection = C, Junior = J, & Youth = C. Nonfiction resources receive a Dewey Decimal number in all collections with the Children's Collection receiving some special treatment. 


    *Reader vs Non-reader? We have 5-tiered levels -- each with its own colored label. White label = non-reader.

    *4 Sections as follows:

    Story Stack  (General Reading) ~~~ C with 1st three letters of the author's surname

    Bible Hub (About-the-Bible & Bibles & Bible Stories} ~~~ C + Dewey number + author letters

    Treasure Trove (can explain further if interested, but think of this as special interests as if highlighting certain sections of the Dewey Decimal System; biography & the child's version of "Christian Experience" & "Theology" & Poetry & Prayers} ~~~ C +  depends on category as to its letter/Dewey number 

    Discovery Dig (All Dewey Decimal that doesn't settle within the other sections ---science, Creation, the arts, games & more)~~~C + Dewey number + author letters

    3. Categorization: This is an ever-growing experience for me. For instance, it helps me to think . . ."Is this actually Scripture?" OR is it the "Bible retold"?  So many "Children's Bibles" are actually Bible Stories retold (C 220.95). What if you give us an example or more than one example .... it could be a bit of fun to see how we all categorize a certain book & then label it.  

    Lots to say , , , but this reply is plenty long.   

  • My local public library uses JE for picture books so that is what I do too. Th pie only further classification I use I’d ER for Easy Readers, and we have those shelved separately.

  • I have been in the habit of using "E" as the designation for picture books as that is what public libraries and most public schools use.  It has been my philosophy for the 45 years of library work to use those cataloging designations most commonly used in the community.  "P" and "C' have been used by Baptist churches over the years, but if your users also use other institutions it helps to have consistency. 

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