Chelmsford Library, also in Massachusetts, is trying something new. According to a blog I follow (Swiss Army Librarian) they’ve begun interfiling their adult and child books (see photo). This is how the change, titled Intergenerational Shelving, is described according to the blog writer:
As you can see, adult books are on the high shelves – which eliminates adults having to bend way down to the lower shelves to find things. And kids books are on the bottom shelves, so all kids books are within kid reach. The colorful border indicates the age levels.
I immediately hated all of this photo and the idea of interfiling however he names some benefits that seem legit including,
- It removes age-related stigmas association with books – adults who want a kids book, either for an easy-to-understand introduction to a topic, or just like reading kid stories, don’t have to be embarrassed about going into the Childrens Room (or worse, get accusatory glances for not having a child chaperon)
I hate when we’re told to make adults with no little one leave. I understand the reason, however I am an adult. And I go in to children’s rooms unattended by a child. So it irks me.
- Kids who are advanced readers are more likely to serendipitously encounter higher reading level books
So maybe I should think about it a little bit before I go back to hating the idea.