When we’re at home: what do librarians’ shelves look like?

Are librarians’ houses full of books, or do they get all their books from the library? Do librarians use the Dewey Decimal system to organize their shelves at home, or some other system? The answers may surprise you…
StaffPicks_Rob“My system is really terrible for anyone who isn’t me.  I keep my favorite authors’ books together, then have a section of my all time favorites, and then I organize the rest by ones that have similar topics.  Though sometimes it’s as arbitrary as one book reminds me of another, so they should go next to each other. (Despite the fact that one is fantasy and the other is a mystery.) Within my genres I again organize (roughly) by favorite to least favorite.  It all makes complete sense to me, but if I asked somebody else to find a book for me on my bookshelf they would definitely be lost.”

StaffPicks_Jenny“My system would be much easier on a guest’s than Rob’s system! It’s got a few quirks, but fiction is organized alphabetically by author, with children’s and young adult books separated out. Nonfiction books are also organized alphabetically by author, except for cookbooks, which are in the kitchen (organized by most-frequently-used). Poetry and plays are on a small shelf in the bedroom with a few most-favorite novels. Comic books (Calvin & Hobbes mostly) and some of the oversize coffee table books are on an end table in the living room. Oh, and I have a shelf for books I own but haven’t read yet, so I can go straight there when I’m looking for what to read next. Lastly, there is always overflow – library books or other books that won’t fit on a shelf – those are propped up between bookends on an extra table.”

StaffPicks_Rebecca“I store all of my books at one of 1,700 locations across the state, which leaves me space to jam my house full of other stuff.  I don’t visit bookstores, and haven’t purchased a book since starting my work in libraries.  True story.”

Oddly enough, none of us who keep books at home organize them by color…but because people often remember a book’s cover even when they can’t remember the title or author, it’s not a bad choice! (Just remember, sometimes the spine is a different color than the cover.)

Image from ApartmentTherapy.com

Image from ApartmentTherapy.com

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