Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Time! We Are Moving Our Fiction Into The Genre Neighborhoods!

This afternoon, Diana and I had a little brainstorming session in the library.  You see....it is time to MOVE our fiction into the different genre neighborhoods!

Diana asked me, "So, how do you think we should organize the different genres?"  I answered, "Do you think we should alphabetize them? Or should we group together similar genres and lay them out as we want within the fiction section of the library?" 
After sitting down with the genre classification stickers, this piece of paper,  and a few of the books that Diana cataloged today, we decided to group the genres together and come up with an organization based on similarities, natural flow from genre to genre, and the popular traffic spots within our library.

As I wrote in the post Reorganizing The Fiction Within Our Library And Destiny's Visual Search, this is a big step in the total reorganization of our elementary library collection this year at Van Meter.  After we "Ditched the Dewey" and reorganized the nonfiction into categories or the "book store model", we soon knew that the fiction would be next.

One of the most popular questions that I hear each week is, "Mrs. Miller, where do I find the Realistic Fiction?  Where do I find the Ghost Stories?"  With the reorganization of the fiction, just think how easy it will be for students to find what they are looking for with the genre neighborhoods.
Diana in the middle of "Historical Fiction."  
She also worked on the books within the "Mystery" neighborhood today.  She went through all of the books within our fiction collection.  Next,  she updated the MARC record for each so the books will be searchable within each genre and put the "Mystery" genre classification label at the top of each book's spine.  The books look amazing....I just love how great the new stickers look and how easy they are to identify which genre each book belongs to.  
I love how excited Diana is for this reorganization too.  She has been at Van Meter for 18 years now and this is the first time that she has made a drastic change to the collection.

She even mentioned today that it is so nice going through each book within Destiny as she updates each MARC record.  When she is finished with the reorganization project, she will have went to every book in the library within Destiny and updated each one....This has never been done and she is finding things that she is changing as she goes.  It is like our entire collection, inside and out, is getting an update!
Tonight as I created the signage for the different genres, I made them very simple to read from even across the library.  
I also took the image of each "Genre Classification Label" from DEMCO that we used on the spines of the books and placed them next to the words.  This would give all of the students a visual as well as written words when looking for books within a certain genre neighborhood.   
And as I spoke about in the first post above the reorganization within our Destiny, I have added several "Visual Search" categories with little images of the genre classification labels attached.  

Just think how fun this will be for the students to learn about as we move into these different genre neighborhoods.  

This move within our fiction will be so well received by our school community....I cannot wait to see how it will change what the students and teachers check out, how much they read, and the excitement of finding books within the same genre that they love or venturing into a new one.


  1. This looks great. Are you doing this for both libraries or just the elementary library? I know you will, but please share the feedback from the kids.

    Oh, how big is your collection?

    1. Hey Chad,

      I will definitely share the feedback....Cannot wait to start showing them today. :)

      We will do this in both collections. It is making such a difference in the nonfiction too...I love it.

      The first thing we did last spring was weed a HUGE amount of books so our collection was not quite as overwhelming. We now have around 4000 books in our elementary.

      Hope all is great with you, friend. Shan

  2. Fantastic. I love it. I would love to do this too but am having a hard enough time convincing the powers that be to let me do the non fiction! I love reading about this!

    Small town librarian,

  3. Hi there,

    Thank you for the response. :) Perhaps by showing my posts and a few others, this will help your administration see the benefits. The circulation numbers are up, the conversations are so great, and the kids are reading things they have never read before. All of our books are being checked out now with the reorganization.

    Let me know if you ever have more questions...I would be happy to help you out.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Shannon

  4. Very interesting to see the difference in the size of our collections. Our K-5 collection (with 580 students) is 19,000 books. This is down from 25,000 when I started five years ago...

    1. Hi Amy

      That is so interesting....I cannot imagine having that many books. :) I am sure your students and teachers love them.

      Hope all is great with you, Shannon

    2. Well...we're still mining the treasure from the trash! : ) I really hope to make our collection more about quality than quantity! : )

  5. Are your fiction and non-fiction pushed together or still separated? We are getting ready to work on this in our district and I am excited! How did you come up with your main headings/genres?