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I had the same problem at my previous site. Fortunately the shelves were 
adjustable, so on the stack that was a standard 3 shelf high, I adjusted the top 
and bottom shelves to a taller height and the center shelf to a narrower height. 
This worked well for that particular shelf because many of the books on the center 
shelf were  were taller, so I laid them sideways.  In other areas where I had 
taller stacks with 5 shelves, I often put the few oversized books on display (front 
cover forward) at the top shelf, since I didn't need the space for regular 
shelving. I adjusted the other shelves enough for most of the tall books like 
Eyewitness, and made the bottom shelf shorter, since I didn't need it for shelving. 
When I set up the library (brand new), I tried to be sure that the top and bottom 
shelves on the tall stacks were left vacant if possible or I tried to put a short 
Dewey range of books  there. If you have plenty of shelving, this eliminates a lot 
of squatting or kneeling !
 to reshelve and fewer short kids needing help to reach or replace books on high 
shelves. Displaying books (front cover forward) along the top shelf creates more 

Renee, for your reference section, perhaps you could pull out the most frequently 
used books (dictionary, almanacs) and create a "ready reference" area on the top of 
the short stacks. Get some sturdy book ends that won't mar your bookcase top.That 
might just give you the space you need to go to 2 shelves in the bookcase to 
accommodate taller books. You might stack a few oversized atlases on the top in one 

Joanne Ladewig, Library Media Technician (A.K.A. "Library Lady")
Lawrence Elementary, GGUSD Garden Grove, California

"We're Library Techs. We improvise, we adapt, we overcome! WE READ!"

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

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