After attending Tiffany Whitehead’s session on library genrefication at the Tennessee Association of School Librarians 2016 Conference, CCMS Librarian Mrs. Ashley Scruggs and I decided to embark on this change to our library organization. We began categorizing, labeling, and updating MARC records in February, and debuted our new and improved library organization to students this August. What a change! I knew reclassifying the books would make our library more user-friendly, but I had no idea the students would respond with such enthusiasm and gratitude! One of my students in her senior year remarked, “I looked for a book like this all last year, and never found one. I’m so excited!” She has read it twice in August!
Based on Whitehead’s model, our fiction collection is now organized into the following genres: realistic fiction, relationships & romance, humor, historical fiction, fantasy & science fiction, mystery & suspense, action & adventure, sports fiction, and literary classics.
I also didn’t anticipate how genrefying our collection would improve my book recommendation to students. On the first day of school, I was amazed at how quickly I could make strong recommendations to students within a category based on a simple conversation and a glance at the now minimized section of interest.
Many people outside the library world see librarians as staunch traditionalists, ruled by decimal points and dusty shelves, but I am here to attest that librarians are just the opposite. We embrace change to meet the needs of our students, and we do so one color-coded label at a time if necessary!
If you haven’t visited our genrefied collection, please pop in soon!