Let’s talk best practices for organizing easy or beginning readers. I mean the books used by new readers to facilitate print word recognition. The easy reader collection is difficult to browse. Not easy! There are as many leveling systems as there are publishers that use different letters, numbers, or colors depending on the series; sometimes a level 1 is harder than something marked as a level 2 or 3. This makes parents and new librarians confused when browsing the collection. How can we simplify things?
I am looking to you for help! Give me some ideas of how your library treats the not-so-easy-to-browse easy reader collection. Help me (and maybe others) in future decision making by answering the following questions in the comments:
- Does your library separate materials in the easy reader section using a leveling system?
- How easy is it to browse the easy reader collection in your library?
- Are fiction and nonfiction easy readers interfiled, or where are your leveled non-fiction books?
Every public library I’ve worked in (that would be four) has a different way of treating this collection. In the library where I work now, the easy reader fiction books are in near the picture books, organized by author’s last name (or popular character if there are multiple authors working in the same character series.). The easy readers that have the easiest-to-read content have a green dot on the spine label to help with browsing. The leveled non-fiction books are interfiled in the children’s nonfiction collection.
Now for more questions – Should we devise our own leveling system or use the A.R (or lexile or whatever) number to create levels for the titles in our easy reader collection, and shelve the books by those levels? Should the leveled non-fiction instead be interfiled with the easy reader fiction, or should we have a separate easy reader nonfiction collection? Is there another system that libraries have used successfully that you’d love to share here?
Please share your thoughts and best (or even pretty good) practices. I would love to learn how other libraries (public, school or otherwise) treat the easy reader collection.