Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The 2013 Shelf Challenge

School Library Month Shelf Challenge
It was half way through April before I picked up the 2013 Shelf Challenge, issued by The Busy Librarian.  I had a block of time free up from a cancellation in the library schedule and I love a challenge!  It makes sense to me.   These are the books my students browse every day, shouldn't I know what is on the shelf, too?

The idea is simple.  Pick a section in your library and read the dust jackets and summaries from every book in the section throughout the month of April.  (If a picture book section, read the whole book.)  I chose to read the section of fiction where the S authors live, simply because it was suggested in reason number 4.  Those shelves face away from the teaching area of the library, and I noticed they were crowded.  I also couldn't remember adding any new books there recently except Gary D. Schmidt, Maggie Steifvater, and Rebecca Stead, so I wanted to see how old it was looking.

The Book Who Lost It's Cover Image?
The first book I picked up was The Boy Who Lost His Face, 1989 humor by Louis Sachar.   This book belongs at Awful Library Books, not on my shelves. There are water stains on it.  Who put it on the shelf with water stains?  Is it any wonder that no one has checked it out since before 2007?  I wanted to wash my hands after I picked it up!

I pulled a circulation report and found I had 40 books in the S authors that had not circulated since 2007 when we switched to Follett Destiny.  I took a deep breath and began the challenge again, in earnest.   I have allowed myself the option of skipping reading the summary of books I decide to weed, but so far have read them anyway. I'm glad I read Mrs. Yingling's post about the agony of weeding.  I know there is someone else out there making hard decisions about which of a beloved author's (Zilpha Keatley Snyder!) titles to keep. 

This is going to take more than a day, but I have the rest of April.  I'll let you know how I'm progressing. Why don't you take the challenge? You can join up here