One of my favorite things to talk about in library land is the genrefication of our library. I frequently get questions about this from folks who have read my blog posts or have seen me present. I blogged about the process all along the way, from the tagging my fiction books, to genre shelving fiction, to ditching Dewey in nonfiction. Those posts were basically my reflections and thoughts from when I made the move. For a while now, I’ve been wanting to write a more comprehensive blog post that I can share as a reference for people interested in genrefying their library. After our AASL presentation, I realized that a series of blog posts would be the way to go. So this post will be the first of several that will detail the process I used to genrefy the fiction and nonfiction sections of our library.
The first step in the process is to choose the genre categories that you will use. For fiction, I didn’t want to get too specific with my genres. My original categories for fiction were: realistic fiction, sports, romance, Sci-Fi/fantasy, mystery/suspense/horror, and series. As I sorted through the books, I made some changes to these categories so it made more sense for our collection and our students. I decided that it would be better for the series to go with their genres and clearly label them as series within their corresponding sections. I also added several more sections. Our fiction genres now include: historical fiction, general/realistic fiction, Sci-Fi/fantasy, action/adventure, mystery/suspense, sports fiction, relationships/romance, and inspirational fiction.
After the success I found with our genrefied fiction, I wanted to follow suit with our nonfiction. Choosing these categories was a little harder for me. Thankfully, I had my friend Tamara Cox to look to for advice. I took her nonfiction category choices and tweaked them to work with our collection. These are the categories we use for nonfiction in our library:
Some of our larger sections are broken into subcategories as well. This is our section and subsection breakdown:
Something that I love about this arrangement is that nothing is set in stone and you’re free to make changes to work best for your students and your curriculum — it’s okay to make some changes your categories and subcategories as you go. Make your plan for your categories, but don’t be afraid to tweak it as you go!
Watch for the next post: Labeling the Books