Wayfinding in Children’s Collections

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Librarians love to arrange things. We are always trying to figure out where to put books (and other materials) so that the folks who will love them the best will find them most easily.

It may not feel that way, though, when you first come into the Library to find books for your child.

There are so many sections. And lots of different labels. What do they all mean?

We’re glad you asked. Recently, we decided to create a key to help people find books for the kids in their lives. It looks like this:

Two bookmarks showing a color key to identify different types of children's books

The colors match the colored labels on our books. And the descriptions explain what kinds of books get which labels.

Like our collections, the key is arranged by format or content. Parents and caregivers looking for books suitable for specific ages usually start with board books, move on to picture books and then to readers. First chapter books, fiction and graphic novels are formats we feature for independent readers. (Mostly. Some graphic novels are written for younger children too.)

Sometimes, folks are looking for specific content. To make that easier, we have sections for books about holidays, folk & fairy tales and familiar pop culture characters. We also have books in languages other than English and sections for early learning concepts like counting and the alphabet.

Of course, you don’t have to rely on the key completely. There are children’s specialists in all of our locations who would love to help you find just the right book, whatever section it’s in.

That’s especially helpful because even within a single section you’ll find that the books are not all the same. They offer different points of view, varying styles of illustrations and worlds of imagination, facts, information and insight.

So, whether you’re the type that likes to explore on your own or someone who prefers to ask for suggestions (yep, that’s a service we offer too), we hope that knowing a little bit more about our children’s collections helps you to find the perfect book. Happy Reading!

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org.

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