Instant Library at Douglass ES
With a system design by Mackin Education, stocking shelves takes minutes, not weeks.
The term Library in a box may seem odd, but at Frederick Douglass Elementary School, an instant library is what they got.
In the past, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Instructional Media Specialist Lisa Shacklette explained, setting up a school library was an onerous task. Thousands of books would trickle in from various publishers over a period of weeks and librarians would have to sort and shelve them in a disjointed manner.
That ended several years ago when LCPS contracted with Mackin Educational Resources of Burnsville, MN. Mackin contracts with all major publishers and sorts the books so they can be completely shelved in a matter of hours.
On Friday, July 20, 264 boxes of books waited in the gym of Douglass, which opens in August, to be shelved.
Mackin sorts all the books by the Dewey Decimal System in the order they will appear on the shelf and packs them into numbered boxes. To further sort the books, each box is sealed with a different color tape—white for non-fiction, orange for fiction, green for biography and yellow for books that can be read by everyone. Early on the morning of the shelving, Mackin’s Alesia Stevenson, who holds a master’s degree in library science, came by with labels to put on every shelf to designate where each book should go.
Once the shelves were labeled, volunteers started stacking the shelves.
The first book went the shelf at Douglass at 9:30 a.m. July 20: “Lions and Tigers and Graphs! Oh my!”
The record for shelving an entire LCPS library is 45 minutes at Liberty Elementary. Douglass, which used 14 volunteers, couldn’t beat that time, but everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion.
In total, 10,114 books were shelved in one hour.