Reinvigorating my Nonfiction (& Free Signage for You!)

This is my fifth year as the school librarian at my high school, and I have somehow been pretty much spot on on my first five-year-plan for revamping and reinvigorating and modernizing our school library program. One thing I’m very excited about is that I have FINALLY completed my 5-year-long major weeding project!! Over these years I have weeded our collection and this year I was able to do some pretty significant purchasing to start bringing our collection back up after so many years of weeding has made room for new treasures.

This week I got to complete the nonfiction transformation by putting up my signage and front-facing the books. And it looks BEAUTIFUL! And so inviting! And while most of our students are using virtual browsing right now, and our library isn’t running and functioning in the way it does in a normal year, I’m still excited to be able to continue to get the physical space spruced up so it will be impressive and ready for them upon their return (you know, whenever normal life resumes lol.)

To celebrate completing this project I am including a virtual tour of the stacks, some before-and-after pics, and…


I’m also providing my nonfiction shelf signs to you for free!

Feel free to reuse them as you like, noncommercially. They are free for you to use in your libraries, but don’t sell them or anything. That would be very not cool. 🙂

I’m offering my signage freely for you to reuse, but if you’d like to compensate me you could do so by purchasing something from my Zazzle shop! There are some things in there that make great gifts for yourself or others. Directly below is the link to my Zazzle shop if you are interested in purchasing anything!

Oh and I wrote a blog post about my Fiction Genre signs previously, check that out too if you’re interested. They are available for free too!

Ok let’s get back to the free stuff!

Ok so when I started at my school, our nonfiction was HUGE and never really used. We had 7 rows of upright stacks and the back wall full to the brim of old nonfiction books. The average age of this collection was in the 1980s!! So I’ve done massive amounts of weeding, shifting, rearranging, etc. Here are some pics to show the transformation that has happened.

And here you can see what the space looked like before we had the stacks removed!

Once the collection was small enough I was able to have the standing stacks removed. SOO much more useable space, better sightlines, and a much more enjoyable browsing experience for my students not to be crammed into those narrow aisles that were there before.

Of course the shelves were still way too overloaded, so there was still alot of weeding to be done!

But I finally finished the weeding and I was very fortunate to be able to purchase TONS of new nonfiction this year, so our nonfiction section has officially been transformed. Check out this gallery for a virtual tour of every bookcase in our nonfiction section!

Get the Signage for Free!

I design all of my own signage on, because I’m picky and I enjoy designing things! Feel free to reuse these noncommercially if you like.

Hey wait a minute, that doesn’t look like Dewey!?!?!

As you’re going through my signs you may notice that my categories don’t match up EXACTLY with Dewey’s… That’s because I have somewhat de-deweyed and am using a personally created “adapted-dewey” or “franken-dewey.” I’m going to be posting a blog post about that soon because I think its really worthwhile for librarians to seriously consider ditching Dewey, at least to some extent. The racism, sexism, and bigotry ingrained in that system has made it so that it just doesnt work for my students, so I went ahead and made the changes I needed to to ensure my students are being served better. Look for that post sometime later this week or over the weekend!

PPS, here are some other signage I’ve created, that you can also use if you like!

Fiction Genre Signs!

Check out my Fiction Signage at this blog post!

Creating Your Own Signage

Graphic Novel Sign

Picture Book Sign

Makerspace Sign


  1. This is amazing! I’ve inherited a library where fiction is in pretty good shape, but nonfiction is old. I’ve been brainstorming ways I can rejuvenate the section, so I love seeing your hard work. Thanks for sharing! Question: how did you print your signage?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for this post Kelsey! This is my second year as a high school librarian, and it gives me a little comfort knowing that it took about five years to complete this process. When I started last year, my library’s non-fiction section was HUGE (12 rows, stuffed full) and SO OUTDATED! I weeded so many books from the 1950s, it was painful. My goal is so have a high-interest non-fiction like yours. Question – After your revamping, how many non-fiction books do you have in your collection? Thanks again!


  3. Thank you so much for sharing your signage! Once you print the signs, how do you display them? Do you glue them on cardboard?


    • Hi Cheryl, unfortunately a while back I messed up my canva and lost a bunch of originals so I don’t have them to share. Whenever I can I do add the template links but a lot of my older stuff I no longer have access to 😦


  4. Hello, I have just found your page, and I’m so happy I did! I really like your signs. Did you have a company print the Graphic Novels and Picture Book sign?


Leave a Reply to Jenny Robinson Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s