Friday, October 5, 2012

Reorganizing The Fiction Within Our Library And Destiny's Visual Search Too!

This year in our elementary library at Van Meter we have had a lot of changes.  Over the summer and during the first few weeks of the school year, the Dewey was ditched and the nonfiction collection was organized into subjects, the book store model of classification.  

You can read about it at the post, We Spiced Up The Shelves...And Ditched The Dewey, and there are others you will find in my blog too.  
The reorganization of the nonfiction has been so successful with our young readers and school community we thought it was time to make a change in the fiction sections of our collection too.  

So our thinking was....

"Lets reorganize the fiction into the different genres such as Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery, and Realistic Fiction.  Our students are constantly wanting to know where to find the adventure books or fantasy book.  If we organize our fiction based of genres, the students, teachers, and school community will be able to find books according to genre and by browsing the shelves." 

So we jumped right in and did just that!  
Last spring we ordered hundreds of new books for our "Spice Up The Shelves" project. Diana has cataloged the nonfiction part of that order and those books are on the shelves.  With this next step of the project, all of the fiction books will be cataloged and processed too.  

When we started thinking about the fiction collection and how things were going to be organized,  we decided to move the books around to create the new genre areas.  Within each genre area, the books would be alphabetized by the authors last name.  

We also discussed the best way to label the books.   Diana and I decided to mark them with a "Genre Subject Classification Label" at the top of their spine.  
We looked through a few catalogs and online for the spine labels.  We ended up ordering from DEMCO.  They have a great selection and a label for almost any genre subject. 
Diana organized all of the different spine labels in this little holder.  
The new fiction books looked great with the new spine label.  Diana put them way at the top of each spine.  
She used the MARC records and read the verso within the book to choose which genre she would place each book in.  There were several titles that we spoke about and made a local decision together on where the book would go.  
I especially loved seeing all of the books in the "Graphic Novel" section with the new spine label at the top of each book.  They are easy to read and will be helpful when reshelving books as well.
As Diana was processing the new books, she made a new "subject" line in each MARC record to reflect the genre that we chose for that particular title.  When the titles are then searched by genre, the titles tagged with that genre will be listed within the search.

We have already done a few things this year to make the books in our collection easier to be searched and located within Destiny.  The post Adding a Little Buzz , Like the mackinVIA Widget, To The Front Page Of Destiny gives directions and tips on how to do this.

So with that, I knew we could enhance the "Visual Search" within our Destiny even more.  I was going to create a "new search" for each of the new genres.  So then when one of our little people want to search through the "Realistic Fiction" or another one of the new genre categories, they can click on that image in visual search and find a list of all of those books.
To add a new "Visual Search", you go to "Search Setup" within "Catalog."  You click on the little  magnifying glass and the "Add 'Button' To Home" page comes up.  These fields need to be filled out and the genre added in the "Name" blank.
Also, you can change the image and attach your own. I choose to have the image in the visual search match the new genre spine labels.  I went to the DEMCO online catalog and took screen shots of each sticker we were using within our library.

This is just one more way that I can encourage success within the library and the searches that our patrons conduct.
When they search by genre, for example "Adventures", a list of all of those books within that genre are listed.
And under "Explore" within the record, the new genre classification is listed as well.  
This is the start of our new "Visual Search" within Destiny at Van Meter.  Diana and I now need to figure out how we will organize some of the fiction and nonfiction overlaps, such as nonfiction and fiction books about horses.  We ask questions then such as, "Should we just put all of the books about horses together? Should we put the horse spine label on just the fiction or the nonfiction too?" 
I just love the changes that are taking place.  And each time we make a change, I love what it brings to our school community too.

This is just the start of the reorganization of the fiction within our library.  Just wait until the books are moved into their new genre categories and the signage is up...

What a difference that will make too!


  1. Thanks for sharing your journey to visual search Shannon. Please keep us updated.
    Rebecca Levinson

  2. I have a question concern reorganizing or renaming genres. My library is throwing around combining Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Horror and SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal. We are looking for that "perfect" five to seven letter word that would describe the combined genres. Any suggestions?