Thursday, 24 April 2014

Genre Shelving - the (almost) finished product

Original Plan

My original plan was to roll out new genres at the rate of one every three weeks until I finally had all ten set up at the end of 30 weeks or so.  There were a few problems with this plan.  First, as we processed new books it didn't make sense not to put them straight into their rightful genre, regardless of whether we had "launched" that genre or not.  This meant that there were a few books that had different stickers and my student librarians weren't sure what to do with them.  The main problem however was that it was taking too long and I wanted to see it happen sooner!

Revised Plan

In the last couple of weeks of term I decided to get stuff done!  I started walking past the shelves and picking out the books that had really obvious genres.  I took them home and stickered and taped them and then changed their genres on the catalogue.  By the last day I had done 738 of the 1300 fiction books and was ready to go.  On Tuesday  I went in and, with the aid of a few helpless children I roped in to my dastardly plan, we rearranged all the fiction shelves.  Here is what we did...

We removed all the books that had genre stickers and put 
them on the floor under their genre headings.

We put all the books currently without genre labels in one place 
(a very visual to-do list).

Then we put the books back on the shelves in their own genres.

We have two bays on either side of the main fiction wall.  These hold our humour and horror genres.  Fantasy is a big section and I left two empty bays underneath as I know there are more books to come. 

It took less than two hours to do the rearranging and I am really happy that we will start Term 2 with all the genres in their own sections.  I have decided to do a genre challenge where I challenge our older students to a) write down what genre their favourite book is in, b) read a book in that genre by a different author and c) read a book from a completely different genre.  If they complete the challenge within a month they get to go into the draw for prizes.  Hopefully that will encourage teachers to start a conversation about the different genres.

I'm also in the process of creating some online quizzes to do for a fun way to find out "What's my genre?".  I have found a cool new tool to use to make the quizzes and will be sharing that in my next post.


  1. Hi Michelle,
    I've been really interested to read about your genre journey!
    I was wondering if you printed your own labels, or bought them? (You may have addressed that in a blog post but if so I'm afraid I missed it.)
    I thought the horror one in particular was brilliant!

  2. Hi Mandy,

    I bought the labels but used images I selected from Pixabay. I did post about it, click on the Genre-fication label just above this comment and then scroll through to the first post.

    I originally was looking for a ghost for the horror genre but for some reason they had to reverse the image and it was going to be black, which I didn't like. I'm not sure my students know about the grim reaper but I did choose a cute one so as not to scare casual passers by!


  3. We are currently in the process of reclassifying our library to be genre based. What categories did you use? Thanks

  4. I list these in another post - Good luck!