Monday, October 10, 2016


I did it! I took the plunge and began the big project of making my library genrefied! Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that I have started the process of genrefying my library. My goal is to have the project completed by December 1st because I'm hosting a district LMC meeting in my library on Dec. 7th and I want to show off my genrefied library at the meeting.

I am very active on Twitter and many librarians like Tiffany Whitehead  and Mary Creek (and countless others) have tweeted about "Ditching Dewey" over the past few years. The concept interested me, and the little voice inside my head was persistent. Lucky for me, I know Mary Creek in real life, and she is the LMC Director at a school only 20 minutes from my school. I knew if I was going to take on this project, I would need to pick her brain. We scheduled a meeting and I was able to visit her library and see what "Ditching Dewey" really looks like. It only took me 5 minutes of browsing her shelves for me to be convinced that this is what my students NEEDED!

My students visit the library once a week for 30 minutes. 15-20 minutes is spent in a library lesson based on our LMC Curriculum. The remaining 10-15 minutes are spent checking out books. My students don't have the luxury of time in the library, they need to be able to find what they are looking for FAST. 99% of the time the students will ask me for recommendations about a genre and I show them the first 5 books in that genre that they are closest to at that moment. Arranging the books by genre will give the students SHELVES of books in their favorite genre to pick from. I'm also hoping by arranging my books by genre will spark a child's interest in a book that might not have been checked out as often as I thought it might get get checked out. Maybe the students just can't find these books because they don't know the best way to find it.

Why now and not the summer or winter break? My Mom decided to help out in my library a few mornings a week this year. I knew that if I was going to genrefy the library, it was going to be now.  With my mom and another parent volunteer helping in the library with the shelving, I knew that I would have some time to work on this project.
My genre markers 

Before meeting with Mary, I "thought" I had a "good plan" of how I was going to accomplish getting all of my books genrefied. Boy, was I WRONG! Mary had an AWESOME plan of how to accomplish this enormous task! Her process is simple and it is working beautifully!

First steps and materials needed:
Print a shelf list of your fiction section.
Color Code each genre
Order color coded labels that match the colors you picked for each genre and label protectors.
Buy Markers that match the colored labels you purchase.

highlighted barcodes
Once you get all of your supplies in order, you are READY! Use the shelf list to change the call numbers in your library management system.  (Almost 99% of this part took place at home.) As you change the call number in the computer card catalog, highlight the barcode number or book title on the shelf list to with the correct color for the genre you picked for the book. After everything is changed in the computer card catalog, start labeling the books where they are on the shelf. I decided to put the colored labeled on the top of the spines, place the stickers where you think will work best for you. This is the stage I am currently in right now. I've finished changing all of the call numbers in Destiny, and now I'm labeling the books according the colors I picked for each genre. Once that is done, you take all of the books off the shelf (carefully so you can put them back on the shelf without too much alphabetizing) and put the genres on your shelf like a puzzle.

How do you know what genre each book is?
labeling books on the shelf
Sometimes you just know. Like Harry Potter - Fantasy all the way. Captain Underpants - Humor! Sometimes you have to think like a kid... where would "Chuckie" look for this book. What was nice for me was having online access to Mary's catalog. If I wasn't sure, I would check to see where she put it. Another place I looked was in Titlewave, it was a great place to look if I was having trouble deciding which genre the book might fit best with.

I'm really excited about this project and I hope that it increases circulation in my library! I'll keep you posted.

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