Monday, April 26, 2021

Are You Thinking About Genrifying Your Library? Learn How Follett Helped Me

Genrefication is becoming more and more popular within school libraries as a way to support reading, enrich curriculum and engage all readers. 

At Van Meter Community School, my library association, Diana, and I flipped our collection almost 10 year ago.  It was a big project and one that we worked on in the summer before we went back to school in the fall.  

Diana and I worked together to research the genrification process and develop an organizational system that worked for our collection and for our teachers and students. 


First, we defined the categories we would need for our collection.  We genrified our fiction and nonfiction.  This was the hardest part because we wanted to make sure we were making the right decisions and ones that would help our students and teachers find the books they were looking for on the shelves. 

After defining the categories, we made sticky notes with those categories and arranged how we wanted them on the shelves.  

Diana and I, with the amazing help from my daughter Brianna, moved every book into the area or “book neighborhood” we thought it belonged.  We used Destiny to help us with the subject areas and other resources such as Good Reads.  It was fun to watch our newly genrified library come to life throughout the summer.  

This project took us about 8 weeks that summer, but with the help of our students using the library, we refined it throughout the entire school year. Our students gave us lots of feedback and input which was one of the most exciting parts about genrifying our collection. 


The most important thing we heard was how much they loved the way our library was organized and how easy it was to find the perfect book. Genrifiying our collection gave our students confidence in searching for books, excitement around what they found on the shelves in the different categories they were interested in; and a new found ownership over the collection since they were able to help friends and teachers find books to read too.  It was just one more reason for our students to love the library and reading. 


It proved to be just what our readers and teachers needed as we watched our circulation increase. With the new organization, our teachers could pop into the library on a daily or weekly basis to quickly find the books they needed to tie into the curriculum through lessons and read alouds.  And we heard lots of praise from the teachers on how they loved being able to help their students find books to read easier.  

One of the hurdles for us was finding enough information and resources to help with the genrefication process. Since we were one of the first school libraries to embrace genrefication, there wasn't a lot of information and help available. With a little more help and a few more resources, the genrification process would have been even smoother and perhaps a little quicker for Diana, Brianna and I. 


Have you genrified your library?  

Are you ready to take the first step in bringing genrification to your library?   Do you have a lot of questions like we had?  

Well, guess what?  

Our friends at Follett support genrefication by offering amazing services including tips, tricks, guides and best practices along with Genre Consulting Services to make sure this genre flip happens just the way you'd like....quickly and in the most efficient way.  


As Follett shares on their Genre Solutions page


If you're taking the leap, or even just considering it, Follett is here to offer our help and support. Explore these tips, suggestions, best practices, and other opportunities to make your transition to genre as smooth as possible.


  • Ship by Genre: Follett can now ship your books shelf-ready and in genre order.

You can start with Follett's Genrefication Best Practices guide. This will guide you through the process every step of the way. 

Follett also created Genre Example Lists, which are very helpful when laying out all of the different categories you may use when genrifying your collection. 


They will ship our books shelf-ready and in genre order.  We can choose from genre labels and color-coded protector labels they provide.

One thing I really love is the signage for our library that goes along with the genre labels they use in the cataloging process.  They have spine labels, shelf strips and signs that are...

..bright, fun and...

...look great on the shelves. 

If you need more help, Follett now offers Genre Consulting Services that are perfect for those who don't have the time or need a little extra guidance in this journey through genrefication.  

These services include pre-project planning and assistance with genre mapping, project management of the service deliver and much more.  

You can learn more about the Follett Genre Consulting Services here.

You will also find this Follett Case Study, Genrefication in the Library super inspiration and helpful. 

I never imagined that genrification would lead to so many changes within our library and school, but this change brought something to our readers and to our library that I would do again in a heartbeat.  It helped me create a student-centered library where our readers feel confident, excited and loved. 


And I am so happy that Follett has such wonderful and valuable resources and expertise that can support our journey in genrification too. 


You can find out more about Follett's Genre Services and Best Practices here and by contacting your local Follett representative. 

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