Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to either read the short responses below, or scroll down further for a more in-depth video response to each question.
Q: Why bother when colleges have their own system?
A: Most high school students do not fully understand the Dewey Decimal system even after using it in grades K-8. To combat this, we use a system that is intuitive for them, and makes them feel comfortable browsing. On top of this, most colleges use the Library of Congress cataloguing system, so it will be a new system for kids to learn no matter what.
Q: What are the Benefits of changing my library?
A: There are 3 main benefits to changing. First, it is a lot easier and more intuitive for the students. Second, it fits the philosophy of a library being a safe and welcoming place. Third, my circulation numbers have continually increased as I went through the steps of implementing this method, and have stayed higher than when I was using Dewey.
Q: What about well known books?
A: Well known books should go to the place that patrons look for them most. This is one of the advantages of this system; you can always flex it to meet the needs of your students!
Q: Will this change affect other collections?
A: It does not change the records for any other library. We only changed what in our system is the 'Copy Call Number', which changes the spine label for readers, but does not affect anyone else's collection.
Q: Will I have to reprint book labels?
A: You do not have to reprint the barcodes, as it will continue to scan the same as before. The only thing we change is the spine labels.
Q: Why mix fiction with non-fiction?
A: There are two main reasons for this one. First, it makes it easier for the students to find books, as they can go to a subject they like, and find multiple types of books they may be interested in. Second, it is a way to introduce the kids to something new that they may not have read otherwise.
Q: How did you implement the system?
A: This took us three years to implement because we never closed the library, and observed how our students and staff were using the library as we made the changes. If I saw a change was working well, we kept going with it. The driving factor that we kept coming back to though, was, "How are the students going to look for these materials?".
Q: How can I convince my principal to use this system?
A: Here are some suggestions: My principal simply asked me, "Is this going to be good for the kids?". For me, it was clear this was better for the kids, it's more intuitive and user friendly for them to use. The second talking point, is that while I was implementing the Monarch Method in our library, our circulation numbers doubled! How many people can say that about their libraries? I think this is because kids come in looking for one book, and while they are browsing, they find other books that they want to read as well.
Q: How long did this take?
A: The time frame for me was three years, but for many people it could now be done in one summer, or with a crew of volunteers over only a few weeks! You are welcome to use the grid we've included for reference, this should speed up the process exponentially.
Q: What is the cost?
A: The honest answer is that there is hardly any cost. The only monetary cost is the cost of the temporary labels and new labels. The real cost is time. The nice thing, is that it won't take you as much time as us. You are welcome to download the grid we've posted and alter it to meet your library's needs. Please just let people know that you are using the Monarch Method!