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Pat and Netters:

Pat wrote about spine labels "wrapped" around the spines so that shelving
becomes a nightmare - yes, it's true Pat, and I "inherited" my current site
with many of the books done this way. :-(  !

I too have spent MUCH time retyping and replacing labels but here's a hint:
ORDER your new books with the labels placed vertically if they'll "wrap". I
have ordered from several vendors who have done a great job following my
processing instructions, but of course, you have to be specific about it.
If you're not sure they'll do it right, it's better to order them
unattached and do it yourself or get adult volunteers.

I specify that the labels are to be "attached vertically, reading top to
bottom" ("Reading top to bottom" assures they are going in the right
direction, the same direction at the title normally is)IF they are too wide
for the spine without wrapping. I even make a sketch and include the sketch
on the processing form (make a xerox copy for your records)since I have
been told that this procedure is done by hand. That means that someone who
might be an entry-level employee (lowest pay scale)might be doing it and
they might need a picture to understand what you mean. Be sure to tell them
how far up from the bottom of the spine you want the label.

Back in '97 I opened a brand new library with all the spine labels exactly
1/2" up from the bottom and it was WONDERFUL!!! So neat and so easy to read
the shelf! At my current site (this is my second year here, but the library
has been here quite a while, with too many turn-overs in staff) the labels
are ALL over the place - some as high as 2 1/2" up! That's too high for
many books - covers up a lot of title info. I have compromised and now
order all my new books at 1" up from the spine.

The only problem we encountered was that our major vendor had hired some
new recruits  (probably temp workers) during a particularly busy time. We
had ordered over 100 boxes of books from them and every 7th box the spine
labels were not at the right height. Apparently they had just one person
who ignored the instructions. (The rest were beautifully done.) We were
able to remove and replace the ones on the bound books without too much
trouble, but the ones under the jackets were something else. Jackets had to
be removed and "surgery" performed. I contacted the company and they did
make a satisfactory adjustment.

It's a slow process Pat, but hang in there! I am also refining many of the
spine labels as I go, extending out the Dewey decimal another digit or two
so that all the planet books are grouped (Mars together, Venus together,
etc.) Ditto with the mammals - I want my bears all together instead of
spread all through the carnivores. Don't forget to change the computer
catalog call number as well. In fact, if your call numbers don't need
correcting, you could print your spine labels if your library is automated.
(I wish I could but whoever did the original retrospective conversion did
such a poor job I will be spending ages fixing it! It's just easier at this
point to type the "busiest" shelves and take comfort I'll be weeding a lot
of the older stuff out anyway).

Pat wrote:
One factor that has slowed me down enormously in my new school is books
with missing spine labels, books with incomplete or faded spine labels, and
with spine labels where the call number wraps around so that the last digits
are out of sight when the book is shelved. The last makes it particularly
hard to insert books in the correct spot.

I have typed hundreds (getting on thousands!) of new spine labels, many
put on parallel to the title, rather than perpendicular to it, and this make
shelving go much faster.
Am I the only one who has had this issue?

Thanks to all for a very helpful discussion.

Pat Bartoshesky - Librarian
Highlands Elementary School
Wilmington, DE 19806
(302)651-2715 =A0fax: (302)425-4599
Joanne Ladewig,  Library Media Technician  (A.K.A. "Library Lady")

Lawrence Elementary, GGUSD   Garden Grove, California

 " You may be only one person in the world,  but you may also be the world
to one person."
 - - - comments are my own and may not reflect those of my employer- - -

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