For many years our children’s literature collection has supported the children’s literature class for future teachers and other interested people. In the last few years there have been some changes you might not know about and some new uses that you should think about for your classes.
How They Are Organized
In most libraries children’s books are divided by type of book and reading ability. The books are then organized by author’s last name or series name. Books shelved by author is an accommodation in the Dewey organizational system that takes into consideration that people looking for fiction books are quite frequently looking by author.
Our collection has always been a little different in that it stuck with true Dewey call numbers for our children’s books. Under Dewey fiction books are divided up not only by author, but also by considerations such as country of origin and original publication date. The reading level of the books isn’t considered.
Last year we did a major rearrangement of the children’s literature collection by separating out picture books (large colorful books with many pictures and few words, normally 32 pages) and chapter books (novels aimed mostly at upper elementary readers) into separate sections. The picture books now have Easy Reading added to the beginning of their call number in the catalog and can be identified on the shelves by the blue Easy Reading sticker on the spine. The chapter books still just show children’s literature as the location in the call number. Both sections still use Dewey instead of the author, but we hope this change will make it easier for people to find the kind of books they are looking for.
Ideas for Use
Several Kirkwood instructors have been using our picture book collection with their classes in different ways. Some assignments have students analyze how children are presented with a particular type of information, others look for books to use to share information on a topic they are studying, or help analyze a theme also used in a novel they read. Picture books can be a fun way to introduce a subject or to give a short example of a certain type of story, art style, or design. Low level readers can sometimes benefit from using our picture books, chapter books, and children’s non-fiction. Using picture books with older students was popular a few years ago, but seems to be on the rise again. Get some ideas from this article or this longer article or stop by the library to talk to us about it. Check out our list of recently added children’s books below.
Links to Some of The Books Recently Added to the Collection:
Our Special Displays This Month
March – Women’s History Month
April – National Poetry Month
– Earth Day
Our Kirkwood’s 50th Anniversary Display is now up in Cedar Rapids Library Services. Look for one for the entire Iowa City campus later this year.
Heather Gudenkauf – Author Event
Want to schedule time in the library or for us to come into your class?
And remember you contact us at the library any time by phone, e-mail, chat, or stop on by! We’re always glad to see you! Look for the next issue of our newsletter.