What is the origin of the "classic" library genre stickers?
October 29, 2017 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Back in the day, library books tend to have genre stickers like these; the sci-fi rocket and Holmesian detective are good friends. There are more modern additions to the family, but these old ones are close to my heart. What is their origin? Who designed them? Who first sold them?
posted by Going To Maine to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Demco is the current seller of these (examples) and I would not be surprised if they were also the original ones but I'll dig around. They are so it's easier to identify and shelve various genres. There is some debate within the library world about genre labeling and shelving (whether to do it or not, various pros and cons) and some debate about specific stickers (self link). Do you want to know about that sheet in particular?
posted by jessamyn at 6:27 PM on October 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I was particularly interested in that mystery and that sci-fi label, yeah.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:29 PM on October 29, 2017

The Winston Science Fiction series of the 1950s had a rocket label which appeared on the spine.
posted by Rash at 9:02 PM on October 29, 2017

Is it possible these used to be created independently by different libraries, or different companies?

I just spent waaaayyyy too long image-searching for the old Mystery labels that Oakland Public Library used to use. They were a skull and said Mystery. They are very sentimental for me cuz my mom used to obsessively read mysteries from OPL when I was little. I can't find them anywhere online which makes me wonder if they were the invention if my local library system?
posted by latkes at 10:00 PM on October 29, 2017

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