How to put fiction books in correct alphabetical order in the public library

Written by stacey cotrufo
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How to put fiction books in correct alphabetical order in the public library
Organization is key when you have thousands of books to search through. (library books image by Daughterson from

A public library is a library whose patrons are the people who live in the general vicinity of its location. Public libraries can be found in places all over the world, and their primary focus is to lend books to their customers. While public libraries come in different sizes depending on where they are located and the population, they mainly focus on popular materials such as popular fiction and educational and nonfiction materials of interest to the general public, as well as having computer and Internet access to offer their patrons. With sometimes thousands of fiction books to shelve, it is important to know how to organise them so they can be located by patrons. Public libraries often categorise books by the Dewey Decimal System, with a separate section for fiction arranged alphabetically.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Organise fiction books by the author's last name, starting with the letter "A" and then moving on through the alphabet.

  2. 2

    Subdivide authors with the same last name by the authors' first names and then place them alphabetically by the last name and then by the first. For example, if you have multiple authors with the last name "Brown," you first collect all of the Browns and then alphabetise by their first names. Place "Amber Brown" before "Dan Brown."

  3. 3

    Starting with the firt of your "A" last names, place the books on the shelves.

Tips and warnings

  • You may come across authors with the same exact names. If this is the case you may want to look a little more closely at the subjects of the books and keep them together so that patrons can find what they are looking for with relative ease.

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