Too often, mentally at least, we all assign books into only two categories: fiction and nonfiction. Either a book is a true story or it is not. However, within these two overarching categories, there are many, many subcategories. These subcategories include different types of genres such as mysteries and romance as well as different types of formats such as large print or graphic novels. In the Children’s Department there are also a variety of reading levels.
This is not done just to provide job security for library staff (though it surely does add some time in purchasing, shelving and maintaining the collections). The reason all of this is done is to help us all, patrons and staff alike, find the right book for the right situation. No one wants to sift through big thick novels when looking for a short easy reader. Thus, we break things down to smaller sections to allow all of us to search for similar books without having to wander all over the library.
In the Children’s Department we have fairly recently broken things down a little further. We went through our J Informational section and pulled out all of the easy readers and children’s graphic novels and moved them to their own section. The Easy Reader Nonfiction books are now right by the Easy Reader section so you can get both story and informational books for your beginning reader without having to take more than ten steps (though I suppose the number of steps you take depends on several factors including leg length and the path you take while in the Easy Reader section).
The children’s nonfiction graphic novels are now a part of the J Comics section back against the green wall. These titles come right after all of the fiction comics and graphic novels. So if you have a child who wants to know about a specific person or informational topic but really loves graphic novels, take them to this section and let them have at it. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind grabbing a BIG NATE or BABYMOUSE book while they’re right there.
As always, if you need any help finding any type of book—fiction, nonfiction, mystery, romance, graphic novel, easy reader, etc.—don’t hesitate to ask a librarian. We are fairly good at finding the right book for the right situation.