Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Genrefying: Part III: Selecting Genres

A very important step in this genrefying project was to decide which categories to use. I opted to follow the method used by Kathryn Makatche. Relabeling every book didn't seem very practical, so I followed Kathryn's method of using colored label protectors to signify different genres. It could also be undone easily if the project didn't work, although I never would have taken on such a task if I wasn't sure it would be successful. It is also easy to change the location if I make a mistake or change my mind. I also used Kathryn's idea of pulling one genre at a time. It took me several lists to decide on the genres, but this is the list I came up with:

  • Realistic - takes place in the last 20 years, appeals to both guys and girls
  • Chick Lit - Contemporary realistic fiction that mainly appeals to girls (Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, Louise Rennison, Gossip Girl)
  • Romance
  • Historical Fiction - I had many more than I realized!
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Horror - vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons, supernatural, Jaws, Exorcist, Stephen King
  • Manga
  • Mystery/Suspense
  • Adventure - survival, quests, espionage
  • Sports
  • Guy Reads - opposite of Chick Lit, gangs, friends, gambling, humor, S.E. Hinton, Gordon Korman, Paul Volponi, Pete Hautman       

I debated a long time about the Chick Lit and Guy Reads sections, not wanting to turn off potential readers by the placement of a book. If a book could appeal to either gender, then it goes into the Realistic section. I decided to use stickers from Brodart and Demco to designate short stories, verse novels, graphic novels, Holocaust, Asian and war novels. All of these types of books are read in certain curricular areas or are popular with students. I decided that genre beat format for not pulling those books out into a separate section.

Since I did most of the project over the summer, I didn't have to worry about confusing my patrons as I made changes in the catalog and moved books around. I started by using my print shelf list and noting the obvious genres and started making changes. After that I did subject searches for "fantasy", "mystery", "science fiction", etc. Then I scrolled through the remaining records online and decided on genres for the titles I wasn't familiar with based on subject headings and summaries. Some books had incomplete records and I had to look those up elsewhere. I changed the records in the catalog to say "Historical FIC MEY" or "Chick Lit FIC PIC". After I changed the genre in the computer, I ran a new shelf list for that section, pulled the books, put the new colored label over the call number and set up the new section.

Obviously signs were going to be needed so that patrons could find the genre they were looking for. I used Tagxedo to make signs that had an image related to the genre, as well as keywords associated with it. Some were tough, but I managed to find an image that easily worked with each genre.

Now that everything was moved, labeled, and re-cataloged, the big question was would everyone like it?

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