Ask an Agent: How Do You Keep Track of Series?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: What system/method do folks use to keep up with books in series as they’re buying, weeding, and generally curating their collections? Excel is turning out to be really cumbersome and my predecessor had a handwritten paper list ><


Jan (Moline Public Library) says:

My own system is cumbersome, but it works for me. I review each new cart of new YA books after they have been processed. I run each title through Goodreads to decide if I want to put a review on my blog. I also use this to see if a book is part of a series. I keep a very simple Word document with the series I have in my collection, and update as the new titles are ordered and/or are received. I also put dots with the books number on the spines, which helps both the teens and the pages who shelve the books. This method does take quite a bit of time, but it’s really effective.

Jenni (South San Francisco Public Library) says:

 We have an Excel spreadsheet of books that we have on standing order. There aren’t a ton of teen books that we keep on standing order, so Excel works well for me, but YMMV.

Michelle (Westwood High School Library ) says:

We use a series and sequel notebook that we update as we process books. We also use an extra spine label indicating what book it is in the series (Book 2, Maze Runner Series) My assistant  researches from time to time to update the new books coming out (she highlights these so I can see which ones we need). I use this book for collection development. I also have set a rather arbitrary limit of 5 books per series unless there is significant interest in the series (think Harry Potter, or Rangers Apprentice for example). I send out student aides with the book into the fiction section to look for errors or additions we may have missed a couple of times a year. We highlight lost books (so we can replace or decide if the series is no longer circulating) and new books that are out that we don’t have yet. It is work but it has helped us help students find the next book they want and helped me in ordering, and weeding!

Faythe (TSU Agent) says:

When I do keep track of fiction series, I write them in a notebook.  I have a page for each month and I write them down.  This is the most helpful for me to keep track of the books I want to buy.  I just write down titles as I came across them whether I find out about it via Twitter, emails, magazines, or whatever.  It’s helpful to me.

Thanks to our volunteer agents for the awesome answers. If you have a question about anything teen services related ask it here! Your question will be featured on the blog with answers from our agent volunteers or TSU team members. If you’d liked to be a volunteer agent, please submit your info here.


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