Genre-fying the Library! (3)


If you haven’t checked out part 1 and part 2 of my “Library Genrefication Project,” click the links so you can catch up on my big project!

So as we cleared the shelves, we sorted the book onto a long cabinet that had the different genres listed along the front.

The area on the other side of the cabinet is the reference/professional book/picture book area (and ISC/ISS area.) You can see the shelves that we’ve started clearing on the back wall. This was second period, so they were finishing up the 2nd column of shelves.

Below are realistic fiction books written by authors whose last names start with A or B:

I’m hoping that the next step in the library makeover is updating the posters that we have displayed! These READ posters are literally from the 90s. Bill Cosby has no gray hair. Dakota Fanning is still like 8. We need new stuff! Here’s another example:

This is the view if you’re looking out of the library, looking over the long cabinet that serves as our 4th wall. The top of the cabinet has magazines while the bottom shelves house the biography/autobiography/memior books. Has anyone separated this section? I’ve toyed with separating political/historical figures from pop-culture/celebrity…just not sure if it would be worth it. Students might ignore the political/historical and miss out on some good reads.

We thought about ordering genre signs, but it seems that all of the merchandise available for purchase are geared more toward elementary libraries. We just needed something simple that told what genre was in that area, so I made these simple genre signs in just a couple of hours:

First, we cut quite a few file folders into quarters. We cut it in half along the crease that’s already there, then folded and cut in half again. There’s a little bit of excess that you might have to cut off to make a better rectangle.

I used Microsoft Word and typed the genre vertically (using WordArt), then a short description of that genre in a text box beneath the genre. I copy/pasted this so that it was side-by-side like the SPORTS genre listed above. That filled 1/2 of a page in Word. Then I repeated this with another genre, so on each printed page there were 2 genres.

Using the picture above as reference, ADVENTURE and SPORTS were printed on 1 page, then my librarian cut the page in half, separating the genres. Next, fold the paper in half, so you can see the genre from the front and back, and slide a file folder into the fold. If you were to flip the ADVENTURE sign over, it would say the same thing on the back.

Whew, is that clear as mud?! It sounds confusing reading it, but I swear it was SO super simple!! This is what the signs will look like once they are on the shelves:

Once the laminator at our school is fixed, each sign will be laminated then taped to the inside of the shelf. We have currently started re-shelving the books (yay! You’ll get that update soon!), and we’ve realized that we need more of these signs. Some of the genres start in one column of shelves and carries over to another. We want a sign at the beginning of the genre as well as at the top of each shelf. Also, some students suggested that  we put a sign on the front of the shelf, so I’ll be printing out a few of signs to tape to the front of the shelves. They’ll probably be a little bit smaller/different, so I’ll post a picture of those once they’re done.

Okay, next update I’ll tell you how we alphabetized the books before we re-shelved them and give updated pictures of what’s going on! I know you’re excited 😉


9 responses »

  1. Just thinking about genrefying makes me hyperventilate. I’m going to see how other people like their arrangements before thinking about it for my library. I’m still stuck on “what if it’s FUNNY science fiction? Then where does it go?”

    • We just did genred based on the MAIN genre. If it’s funny sc-fi, it’s still sci-fi, so that’s where it would go. 🙂 We’ll see how it works with the students next year, but they were all for the idea!

  2. Could you please share the specific genres you chose to use. I am in the planning stages of starting this in our 6-12 school library and am over thinking the different genres. I think I need to just pick less than 10 and go with it. Any help would be great!

    Thanks Robin

    • Yes! Our school is 7-12, so first we pulled “Middle Grade” titles and made that its own section. (They’re welcome to check out from all the books though).
      First we pulled any novels in verse and made a Verse section. Then we separated into: Realistic, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Sports, Fantasy (which includes any & all), Historical, and Mystery. We included an adventure section at first, but we decided to put those back into the genre where they fit most…kids just weren’t looking in that section.
      My students LOVE having the library genre-fied! I have my classroom library set up the same way, so the students are used to it. They love knowing what they want to read, then being able to find it. Also, I’ve had some that were stuck on realistic because they didn’t “like” other genres. I was able to find similar stories in different genres, and it helped spread their interest.
      Hope this helps!

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