Shelf-reading party to help restore order at the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library

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By Heather Lusk

The library is seeking people to help put the books back in order on the shelves in the children’s area during the shelf-reading party. (Photo by Heather Lusk)

The library is seeking people to help put the books back in order on the shelves in the children’s area during the shelf-reading party. (Photo by Heather Lusk)

Each year when kids return to school, the shelves of the public library are left in disarray.

To bring order back to the shelves, the youth librarians host a shelf-reading party to put books back in place and to find missing items.

Department head of youth services Jamie Schlenk said summer is the busiest time for library traffic,  and therefore the time when much of the disorder occurs.

“It’s the time of year when we have the largest number of kids coming in and finding books for themselves,” Schlenk said.

Volunteers have helped the library staff reorganize the shelves for six years. While the shelf-reading will take place in one day, volunteers may help for as little as 30 minutes. Shelf markers track where people start and stop throughout the day.

“You’re reading the spine labels,” said Schlenk, noting volunteers should be adults or teens at least 14 years old who can alphabetize.

“Shelf reading is very tedious,” she said. “You can’t do it for long periods of time.”

Youth fiction and videos are the primary focus for the shelf-reading party. Schlenk said one staff member reads the non-fiction shelves on a regular basis, so that area is of secondary concern.

The library has a list of missing items, and Schlenk said she enjoys finding those items.

“I’ll think I’ve been looking for this forever,” she said. “It’s like you’ve won a prize.”

Youth services staff will host the party from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8, during a time of year when most of the summer reading materials have been returned and most of the fall programming hasn’t begun. All six of  youth services staff will be available.

Interested volunteers can register at www.zionsvillelibrary.org or call the youth services desk.


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