This post republishes a piece which was originally commissioned by myVLF and published on their blog as ‘Unpacking Your Library: 10 Top Tips to Organise Your Bookshelves’, myVLF, 3 September 2020.
Whether working, furloughed or simply unable to go out and socialise as much as usual, Covid-19 has given many of us more time at home. Many people have been unpacking their libraries (to use Walter Benjamin’s phrase), building reading nooks and reorganising their shelves. There’s a great tradition of writing to help us in doing this, and especially on the impact that sorting through our books has on us.
If you want to know how to organise your personal library and bookshelves, here are ten top tips based on practical experience and from ten of my favourite books.
As both a reader and a writer, I wanted to acknowledge the work of Gwynn GB, Kelly Clayton, and Deborah Carr in creating and managing virtual literary festival platform myVLF, which has sadly had to close its doors.
As well as attending many online events there, I was fortunate enough to gain a paid commission to write a blog post for them in September 2020, giving 10 Top Tips to Organise Your Bookshelves. I’ll republish it on the Beginnings Blog now that myVLF is, sadly, no more.
“When Covid-19 hit our world, we worked flat-out holding as many events as we could and supporting hundreds of authors with their book launches, as well as helping many physical book festivals to reach new audiences … Unfortunately, the huge workload in running so many events, resulted in us not being able to concentrate on our own writing careers. We live for writing and so regretfully we have decided to close MyVLF so that we can reconnect with our author careers and families.”
Currently reading Chris Oliver’s Introducing RDA: A Guide to the Basics After 3R (ALA Editions, 2021), and surprised to see Practical Cataloguing in the Hybrid Environment advertised on the back cover.
This month’s Beginning Cataloguing Monthly has just been sent to subscribers.
Metadata Must-read – Shawne D. Miksa, ‘Cataloging Principles and Objectives: History and Development’, Cataloging and Classification Quarterly, published online 22 February 2021, https://doi.org/10.1080/01639374.2021.1883173.
Metadata Must-read – Greta Bahnemann, Michael Carroll, Paul Clough, Mario Einaudi, Chatham Ewing, Jeff Mixter, Jason Roy, Holly Tomren, Bruce Washburn, and Elliot Williams, Transforming Metadata into Linked Data to Improve Digital Collection Discoverability: A CONTENTdm Pilot Project. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research, 2021, https://doi.org/10.25333/fzcv-0851.
Associate’s Choice – Yvonne Lewis reviews three books she read over the festive season.
“Cataloguing is at the heart of everything that I do, as it is at the heart of any effective library,” says Natasha Aburrow-Jones in her upcoming Cataloguing Careers interview, “If you want your library to work, you have to have a decent catalogue, so that your readers can find what they need.”
We’re really delighted that Natasha has agreed to be interviewed in Beginning Cataloguing Monthly. As the former manager of SUNCAT (the former national union catalogue for serials), she shares three top tips for cataloguing these daunting items as well as updating us on how her background as a cataloguer is helping in her current work as Systems Librarian at the Faculty of Advocates.
With some people working from home, some wanting to leave face-to-face services with customers who are not compliant with social distancing rules, and some staring down the barrel of redundancy, there have possibly never been more information professionals contemplating self-employment. Here are some tips and resources from my experience this year setting up Beginning Cataloguing.