Stay Connected

Library News

VPL Re-organizing Its Main Branch, Making It Easier to Find Materials

And you thought re-organizing your bookshelf was a big job.

Vancouver Public Library is re-organizing several floors of its main branch downtown this summer, making it easier to find materials and getting ready for the library’s ‘technology floor’ and the new Inspiration Lab digital media space.

VPL will move roughly 750,000 items on four floors starting in mid-July, putting materials in a single Dewey subject order, which will make it easier for users – particularly new ones – to anticipate where a book is shelved based on its number.

“We want to make our collection more accessible, more user-friendly and self-explanatory,” says chief librarian Sandra Singh. “This will present materials more coherently for users, rather than in half a dozen ordered clusters throughout the building, as we have now.”

One example: Magazines. Where are they? Well, it depends, says Singh. They’re shelved throughout the building based on subject. People Magazine is in the history section, for instance, while Sports Illustrated is in sports – several floors apart.

Another example: Books catalogued in the social sciences (300s) – covering sociology, economics, education and more – are spread through five separate clusters over three floors, which can make finding many of these items a challenge.

Learn more