Genre-fying your library fiction collection UELMA Conference MARCH 3, 2017

Lorraine Wyness, Taylorsville HS & Jennifer Peirce, Kearns HS (Granite SD)

What is genrefication?

.... "the process or idea of classifying music, film, literature, or other such mediums into specific genres or categories." It can either be used in addition to, or as an alternative to the traditional Dewey Decimal Classification system. It is often described as : bookstore model, subject-based cataloging, or nontraditional shelving.

Why Ditch Dewey?

  • Provides user -friendly & student centered organization. Students and Teachers know what they like to read, not always the titles or authors. Gives a starting point of where to look for materials.
  • Encourages browsing by subjects and similar books being grouped together.
  • Positive user experiences bring repeat 'customers' and thus life-long readers.
  • Can reduce information overload by allowing students to focus on smaller subsections of a large fiction collection. Patrons don't need to hunt for labels or authors.
  • Supports increased circulation rates. Use Destiny cataloging tools such as resource lists, sub-locations or specific call numbers to track data of each genres circulation over time.
  • More easily identify areas of the collection that may need development or weeding.
  • Easier to manage shelving and keep collection orderly. Easily identify books that are misplaced or in the wrong genre.

Possible Disadvantages

  • It is a big project to undertake – assigning genres, labelling / cataloging / signage, physically rearranging, leading library users through the changes
  • Difficulties in assigning a title to a specific genre
  • Potentially books by the same author in different genre sections
  • Students reading only within a single genre
  • The library’s physical layout may not be conducive to smaller genre collections
  • Increased complexity in terms of shelving, may be more challenging to arrange effectively.
  • Resistance to change from some library users

Data Collection

Change in Fiction circulations Taylorsville HS

Analyze circulation stats & use collection analyses to find gaps or areas that need attention

Circulation Stats from Taylorsville High School, Destiny Catalog
Kearns High School Library

Taylorsville High School Media Center

Mystery Fiction

Horror Fiction

Supernatural Fiction (Paranormal)

Genre Posters printed on large format printer, laminated and mounted to 20" x 30" foam core board.

Science Fiction

Realistic fiction

Historical Fiction

Fantasy Fiction

Process Steps

There is no 'one size fits all' solution. Every library can be a little different in their approach.

  1. Decide what genres you will use to categorize books
  2. Label books using a visual genre sticker and/or color coded call number labels.
  3. Sorting and weeding; You may need to research books that cross genres and decide which ones will be weeded.
  4. Decide on shelf placement and arrangement. Give yourself room for expansion. Some genres require more space than others, plan out carefully before physically moving the books.
  5. Arrange the books on the shelves alphabetically within genre. Label the shelves / bays / sections with appropriate signage with as much face-out display as possible.
  6. Decide how you will catalog books. If using Destiny, create sub-location or change call numbers or a combination of both. You can also create Resource lists that will be accessible to students when searching for books on Destiny & Destiny Quest. You don't need to recreate the actual call numbers for the physical copy, just in the catalog so that you can run accurate circulation reports.
  7. Create new signage for genres and directions to patrons for color codes.


  1. Scan book barcodes into a Text file for each genre using barcode scanner, save into Notepad or other .txt software.
  2. Using the catalog, "update copies" option in Destiny and using a global update, you can change many records quickly.
  3. Creating Public Resource Lists with genre names makes it easier for patrons to find books in the genres they like.
  4. Using sub locations in Destiny makes identifying where a book lives on the shelf much quicker.
  5. With a sub location identified, changing call numbers is fast using a batch update. You can also use a batch update to change call # to a sub location.
Globally update copies by using the Sub Location to a new Call Number Prefix in Destiny
Create Sub locations and Resource Lists in Destiny Catalog

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