Operation Fiction Genres: Part 1

Mystery was the first fiction genre we pulled together.

Fiction genres are coming together as summer ends.

Last school year some of the most common questions in my library were genre-related. “Where are the mysteries?” Where are the historical fiction books?” The students asking those questions looked disappointed when I told them they were all throughout our big fiction areas. I’d show them where a few different titles were. I’d tell studies how to search for the genres on Destiny. I would recommend titles. The library assistant would recommend titles. All the while I kept reading posts about libraries undergoing genrification.

I decided that for 2013-2014, the library would have genres in fiction. During our last library lesson of the year, the fifth grade classes helped brainstorm what genres and groupings they would like to see in the library. Between the twelve sections, we had some pretty good ideas.

A list of suggested genres from one fifth grade class.

A list of suggested genres from one fifth grade class.

The genres I knew I wanted ready for sure by the start of the school year were mystery, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy.

Mystery was our easiest starting point. Many of the mysteries already had stickers from when the previous librarian worked at my school. My library is blessed to have a strong group of parent volunteers. They assisted in preparing a number of the historical fiction books and some of the fantasy books before the end of the year.

I selected genre stickers from Demco to use for this project.

I selected genre stickers from Demco to use for this project.

As summer began, I pulled the rest of the fantasy and science fiction. For now, these two genres are intermingled. I find fantasy doesn’t really get genre borders. At some point, they may be separated. Genrification is definitely an ongoing work in project. During summer school, the summer school library assistant did a wonderful job in labeling the books after I identified them.

Science Fiction Fantasy took up the middle of the library as got this combined genre ready.

Science Fiction Fantasy took up the middle of the library as got this combined genre ready.

With three big genres taken care of, we moved on to some smaller areas. Sports fiction has its place as do scary books. The scary short story collections made their way out of nonfiction and over to the novels. Animal fiction and interactive fiction (choose your own adventure style materials) have a spot as well. The newest genre taking shape is adventure, which is home to 39 Clues, The Genius Files, Gallagher Girls and more.

Historical Fiction and Interactive Fiction

Historical Fiction and Interactive Fiction

Labeling the books was only the first step. For the new system to work, Destiny also had to tell students the correct part of the library to look in for their books. I am so thankful for the batch update feature! My summer took an unexpected turn in July so I was very grateful when some friends volunteered to come in and help with this part of the project. Armed with a handful of laptops and two barcode scanners, we went to work. Each genre got a document file that we scanned barcodes into. We then uploaded the lists into Destiny and changed the call number prefix.

I’ve started pulling together some different genrification resources over on Pinterest if you are interested.

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4 thoughts on “Operation Fiction Genres: Part 1

  1. Thought about this, but always come back to “where to put funny mysteries”? When books could go in both places, it’s hard. Hope this works for your students and it was worth all of the effort!

    • There are some definitely tricky books where I’ve had to decide which genre ‘trumps’ the other. For example, Michael Buckley’s Sisters Grimm Series. Right now it is in mysteries. Malcolm at Midnight could have been mysteries or animal fiction. It’s in mystery too. Infinity Ring went with Science Fiction though much of it is also historical fiction. Summer school kids seemed to like the started version of the genres – will have to see what the rest think.

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