Michigan State University

Children's Materials

Determine if "Picture" or "Chapter" book

These are terms that the children's literature community uses to distinguish between books where the predominant focus is on the illustrations vs. books where the predominant content is text. So a "chapter book" may not actually have chapters, per se--it is just a book that has too much textual content to be considered a picture book.

  • Picture books usually have these indicators:
    • 32-60 pages
    • Larger size
    • Extensive illustrations
      • usually on every page
      • usually in color
    • Glossy pages
    • Text printed in larger font size 

Picture books require a special call number and streamer (see below).

  • Chapter books usually have these indicators: 
    • 40-50+ pages
    • Chapters or long blocks of text with paragraph indents
    • Smaller size
    • Illustrations less extensive
      • more often in black and white
    • Matte pages
    • Text very predominant, printed in smaller font size

Chapter books do not require any special steps.

  • NOTE: Content, subject matter, & reading level aren’t good indicators!
    • Picture books can be for younger or older audiences--it just depends.
    • From Wikipedia: “Picture books are most often aimed at young children, and while some may have very basic language especially designed to help children develop their reading skills, most are written with vocabulary a child can understand but not necessarily read. For this reason, picture books tend to have two functions in the lives of children: they are first read to young children by adults, and then children read them themselves once they begin learning to read. Some picture books are published with content aimed at older children or even adults.”
  • If questionable → send to Autumn.
    Jill will periodically examine any books that appear to fall in the gray area between these two categories and decide where she wants them placed.


Add location code

  • Bib record (049) → EEMR
  • Item record →​ mnjuv
    • can insert in 949 with loc code
    • ex: *ov=.o ;i= /loc=mnjuv/w=[your workstat string]


Add series note

830 #0  MSU Children's & YA Literature Collection. |5 MiEM


​Review call number

  • If item is a PICTURE BOOK:
    • ​copy existing call number to 090
    • put |f picture at beginning of call number, followed by |a [call number]

Screenshot of 050 and 090 MARC fields


PZ7 (Fiction) & Work Marks

  • If item is clearly fiction for younger readers, make sure PZ7 call number is present
    • if no PZ7 call number available, send to Autumn
  • If item is non-fiction, graphic novel, or fiction for older adolescent readers, other call numbers are ok to accept

Call numbers in the PZ7 range only should have what LC calls a "work mark." This is used instead of a title Cutter and contains the first two or three letters of the title. 

  • If PZ7 call number has title Cutter → change to work mark
  • If PZ7 call number has no title Cutter or work mark → add work mark

example of work mark



  • All call numbers for adds should go in the item record 090
  • Adds for LoM and Law will be funneled into appropriate workflow (addcats)
    • label as Copy 1
    • add 830 series note to bib record
    • if no call number present, send to Autumn
  • Adds to MSU locations
    • if same call number, label as Copy 2
    • if different (see below), label as Copy 1
    • add 830 series note to bib record
  • If graphic novel add for Special collections, do not use local call numbers between PN6278.1 - PN6278.8. Instead:
    • use LC- or PCC-assigned call number (usually a PN) if available in SkyRiver or Remote OR
    • send to Autumn if no number outside PN6278.1 - PN6278.8 is available


Send to labeling

  • Leave dust jackets on.
    • Call numbers may still be written on the inside corner for hardcover books with dust jackets. 
  • Insert purple streamer.
  • If item is a PICTURE BOOK → mark streamer with "P"


If item has supplemental material:

  • Handle via normal workflows
    • accompanying CDs or DVDs go to DMC, etc.


Note on subject headings

  • Subject headings may often be coded 650 #1 or 650 #7 for special vocabularies.​
    • All subject headings (except ones that look obviously incorrect) are ok to accept, even if they look repetitive or appear in Spanish.