Genrefying #ReedyLibrary
Nancy Jo Lambert

Genrefying #ReedyLibrary

This year at #TCEA16 there was much talk about fiction collections moving to being genrefied. I had been considering genrefication for a while. So, I decided it was time when I found out some of my favorite people over at Mackin Educational Resources were offering a Genrefication service.Dot Organization

Dot Organization

I began by submitting the Genre Matching Service Order Form to Mackin. Once they had my records, they sent me a spreadsheet of the titles they were able to match with genres. Now, my Opening Day Collection (because Reedy High School just opened school year 2015-2016) was from Mackin, so all of my books had come from them this year. I had an 81% match of the genres to my titles. So, I worked on the genres for the other 19%. I used the spreadsheet Mackin gave me and looked each title up and read the reviews and the Related Content on to determine what the genre was for the missing books.

As I was working on those Mrs. Krejci, my extraordinary part-time library aide, went about putting colored dot stickers on all the books. We used A LOT of dots, and I purchased the different colors of dot stickers from Wal-Mart and Office Max.

Dots-1-2dd5kzg      Dots-2-1v5n427
Dots-3-1yb9d42      Dots-4-tron1x

Shelf PlanI made a shelf plan and determined how many books were in each genre and how many shelves would beShelf Signs needed for each genre. I wanted to make sure I left space and room Shelf Signsin each genre since we are a new school for added books. I also wanted to make sure we used all the shelves and didn’t leave any empty. I use these Clip-On Plastic Book Supports with Shelf Label Holders from the Library Store to indicate which shelves were going to be which genre.

We also changed our endcap signs to reflect the new genres. I decided the best plan was to just go in alphabetical order of our new genres and count out the shelves that way. We have one plastic sign at the beginning of each genre section and one at the end.

Moving the BooksAfter Mrs. Krejci finished putting the stickers on all the books, we set aside one whole day where there were no classes scheduled in the library to move the books. Mrs. Krejci came up with the plan to load the first 3 genres (3 of the smaller genre groups) on carts and then start shifting the Fantasy books into their new home on the empty shelves. We started carts for the other genres as well until we got one whole row of shelves empty. Then we loaded in Action/ Adventure, Classics, Dystopian, and worked our way around to Fantasy. From there we continued pulling the next genres until we had all the books from that genre on carts, and then we would load those in. As the carts emptied we could finish clearing the shelves of the Realistic books which was the biggest section by far. We were successful in moving all the books to their new physical homes in just 1 school day! You can watch my Snapchat story of it below.

We moved the books on a Thursday and then we had a 3 day weekend, so we came back on Monday and spent the morning until around 12:30 scanning the books. We use TLC’s LS2 as our circulation system, so all I had to do was batch change the holdings codes. Previously we had added collection codes (local holding codes) for the 11 genres that we decided to use. Now that the books were in their new physical home, it was super easy to go in and scan, scan, scan every book in that genre into the new collection code. One thing you might be thinking is, what about all the books that are checked out? Well, LS2 allowed me to run a search and list all the books that were still in the Fiction collection code. Then, using again I was able to quickly determine the genre with their new Genre column on the search results page, and then manually go in and change the collection code on each item as I clicked on it. That took the remainder of the afternoon that Monday. We were able to change all our collection codes in just 1 day!

Now when students search for books in our LS2 Catalog, they will see the new physical shelf location. Also, even if our dots come off at this point, we can see what genre the book is in LS2 until we get our new spine labels.

LS2 Catalog

Now back to my favorite folks over at Mackin Educational Resources for spine labels! I was able to export my MARC records with that local holdings code tag in it and upload those to Mackin. At this very moment Mackin is in the process of making me new spine labels for all the books. Every Fiction book is getting a new spine label (for a small fee) with the Genre code I got to design above the standard F AVE of the call number. Below are the Genre codes that will appear at the top of each spine label:

Adventure = ADVEN
Classics = CLASSICS
Dystopian = DYSTOP
Fantasy = FANTASY
Historical = HISTFIC
Horror = HORROR
Mystery = MYSTERY
Realistic = REALISTIC
Romance = ROM
Science Fiction = SCI-FI
Supernatural = SUPERNAT

I should also say that Mackin Educational Resources also has my new spine label specs on file, so when I order fiction books from them in the future, they will come shelf ready with my genre spine labels. Mackin has also made it easier to identify genres of books on their site and to be aware of genres when ordering. They have a genre column on where you can see the genre of the book, as well as a genre summary of books that you have a list to order. Their advanced search also allows you to search by genre. It doesn’t get any easier!

Mackin Genre

Mackin GenreIn the coming weeks we will get our new labels and then we will spend a couple of days applying them. This will be the last step in our Genrefication process! I will add pics to this post of the books with their new Mackin spine labels after we finish that last step!

Author Info

Nancy Jo Lambert

Librarian, Frisco, TX

comment (3)

  1. Ann Morgester

    20 May 2016 - 8:10 pm

    The Anchorage School District has 25 libraries that have genrefied their fiction collections, 1 library that has genrefied their everybody collection and 2 libraries that are ditching dewey entirely for next year. There have been many a raised eyebrow but really – alphabetical by author name is not a natural browsing strategy for anyone – just ask Barnes and Noble –

    The library that genrefied their everybody collection had a 1500 book increase in checkouts for that collection. Students said that they were able to find books on their own and the librarian reported that students were much more independent – and isn’t that what we are striving for?

    It is a messy process requiring that you touch the books multiple times but we have found it so worthwhile. Good job jumping in.

    • Nancy Jo Lambert

      23 May 2016 - 9:15 am

      That’s awesome Ann! Yes, the main reason I genrefied was to make the fiction collection more student centered! The student responses I have received, have been very positive. They love it! Thank you for your support!

  2. Shana Celentano

    12 Sep 2016 - 2:46 pm

    I am currently a student seeking my MLIS as well as a high school librarian. I am conducting some research on the Dewey Classification vs genera classification. Would you be willing to share you circulation statistics of the before and after? I can be email at I would greatly appreciate any information you can provide to me regarding your statistics.
    Shana Celentano
    GHS Library

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