Friday, July 13, 2012

The Topical Jigsaw Puzzle

As I mentioned last week, there are way too many books that concern multiple parts of the LGBTQQAIetc. acronym to put in one LibGuide. I started the process of dividing them up into sub-categories this week, and my method is…unusual, in my opinion.
I’m a rather hands-on type of learner, so I decided that the best way to go about organizing the books by topic would be to do it by hand: print off my list of titles (I’m using the same list onto which I hand-copied the call numbers last week), cut each title out, and tape it to a giant piece of paper in the proper category. I acquired flip-chart-sized Post-It notes from the supply closet in the Reference office and affixed them to a rolling white board, one to each side. Each Post-It has three categories (so I have six all together); these are very broad categories and will definitely need some fine-tuning when I get around to the cataloging and tagging portion of the process.
For the 454 titles for which I had to hand-write call numbers, I entered the call numbers into my list on the computer before cutting the titles into strips. I did two pages at a time, and then started taping the strips to the board in the column for the topic they fit best. Now that I’ve reached the part of the list where all the titles have call numbers with them, I’m cutting up the rest of the strips and planning to finish this part of the sorting process all in one go. I might even take the white board out of the Reference office to give our wonderful Reference librarians a break from having to maneuver around it! (Seriously, a huge thank-you to the Reference folks for putting up with my white board. You all are the best!)
Next week, I’ll treat everyone to pictures of my organizing process. Hopefully it will be done in the next few days so I can start actually cataloging books by next Friday, or Monday at the latest. I want to finish the general LGBTQ page (there’s a category for general reference books, which will be on the landing page), and then maybe these LibGuides I’ve been talking about will go live and be accessible to the public. Then you can see what I’m so excited about!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m leaving early today so I can go shopping at a used book festival. After all, what better way for a future librarian to spend her Friday night? J

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