Love's Long Journey

The new year will bring about a few exciting changes at the Knox County Public Library.

Christian fiction is one of the most popular fiction genres in U.S. public libraries. Deborah Bryan of the Kansas Library Association suggests that this genre of books typically promotes values, teaches a lesson, always has a happy ending (good prevails over evil in all books), adheres to a decency code, and Christian fiction is created for defined boundaries within a particular community.

Library staff have long dreamed of the day when the Christian fiction collection, one of the most popular and heavily borrowed collections at the Knox County Public Library, could be organized so that patrons and staff alike could find series books, in reading order, without performing a time-consuming internet search.

That dream is about to come true!

Library staff members are working right now to re-label and reorganize the Christian collection so that series books will be together on the shelf. A few years ago, this project, in another form, was started but not finished. That system wasn’t perfect either. After receiving input from other libraries about how their Christian fiction books are labeled, and holding a few library staff meetings, we came up with what we think will be a logical way to shelve these books.

As always, books will be shelved by author. Within each author’s collection, stand-alone novels will be shelved first, by title. After the stand-alone books, the author’s series books will be shelved by series title, and in reading order. As an example, Beverly Lewis has books that are not part of a series. These will be alphabetical by title. After these novels, the Lewis series books will be shelved together. All of the Abram’s Daughters books will be shelved in order; the Brides of Lancaster County; the Rose Trilogy will be together and in order; etc. Not only will you, the patron, find the books easier, but staff will be able to shelve the books in a logical order.

If this shelving process is a success, library staff are hoping to reorganize other collections in the same way. Roger Stremming is already working to reorganize certain collections in the youth department. Graphic novels are now organized by the name of the superhero instead of the author. This means that all the Spiderman books are together in one place; all the Batman books are together in another. The “Great Illustrated Classics” collection has also been shelved together with the call number “j FIC GRE.” The same process will be used in the Christian collection. For book collections written by various authors, like the “Love Finds You in…” series, the books will be shelved by the collection name, in this case LOV.

Another big change will offer more digital resources. In early 2021, the Knox County Public Library will offer a service called Hoopla. Owned by Midwest Tape company, which the library has used for many years, Hoopla has been around since 2013. Over 8,000 libraries subscribe to this service that offers over 800,000 titles. Patrons will be able to download three items per week, including movies, comic books, and much more. Of course, Hoopla can be accessed on the library Web site or by using an app. View the Niche Academy tutorial at to see what Hoopla is all about. To get in on the action, come down to the library and get a card if you don’t have one. Don’t miss out!

We hope these changes alone will bring a better start to 2021. We can sure use a better year.

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