Monday, November 12, 2012

Genrefying: Part I: The Beginning

Part I: The Beginning

Last summer I decided to separate my fiction collection into genres. I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp on YA literature, but I was getting tired of drawing blanks when asked where the survival/adventure books were or for "books like (insert author or title)". I had my go-to authors and books, but felt that my students were getting shortchanged because I didn't know enough about the collection. It was also my first year in the library and I honestly didn't know the whole collection. I sought advice on listservs and got a lot of positive feedback. Some questioned why I would do this, but if our non-fiction is divided into genres, why not our fiction?

The first step was to weed. I pulled many titles that were classics and/or on reading lists. I wandered the fiction section with my shelf list printout and, according to circulation statistics, there were many books on reading lists or that were assigned for literature analysis papers that were no moving. It was easy to see why once I started handling the books. They were OLD, smelly, in some cases, falling apart. I couldn't blame the kids since I didn't want to handle them either. Yeah, yeah, the words didn't change, but obviously new copies were going to be needed if these titles were going to circulate again. I crossed out titles on my list to delete from the catalog and made notes of which titles to replace. Any title that I wasn't sure of I tried to view from a 15 year old's perspective. Would the book appeal to him/her? Most of the time the answer was no.

Now that the weeding was done, the next step was to start rearranging everything.

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