Recently CMLE asked via a Quick Question Poll, which of you were thinking about, or have made the switch from the Dewey Decimal Classification to a genre based system. Although we had a small sample, it seems that most of you have already made the switch! Of the ones that hadn’t, it was “Know How” that was the most popular thing holding you back. Thankfully, the ones that had done it responded with plenty of sage advice and tips. Check some of them out below:
- Plan, plan, plan. Don’t hesitate. Pick your categories first and change on the catalog not just the spine.
- I left non-fiction alone and just redid fiction. Determining categories is not an exact science, and sometimes books need to be reclassified.
- I used demco colored label protectors to indicate genres (different color for each genre). No retyping each spine label! If you are changing the call number/marc record, do it as you re-shelve. We rearranged first then changed the record…mistake!
- Determining categories takes some thought and consideration. No list is perfect, and we periodically move books to a new genre if we feel it is misplaced. It is intuitive for non-library experts. Some patrons need to rely on the catalog to find a particular title or author since the genre for that book may not be easily identifiable.
- We have really loved it in our building! It is developmentally appropriate for our students and it makes browsing easier. We have also noticed that more kids are using the patrons catalog with the new system in place.
- Suggestion: Have both a picture and words on your signage and labels – it supports the non and emerging readers as well as giving visual cues.
- Choosing genres is a challenge. There will be overlap no matter which categories you choose. The online catalog search will still be important because patrons cannot just browse by author. One author may be in a couple different genre areas. Sometimes change in and of itself brings a new energy to a library.
- We did re-catalog all of our genre books and added the genre code in the call number as well as in subject fields. Some high interest non-fiction titles are mixed in with the fiction (like “Into Thin Air” in Action/Adventure).
Want to learn more about genrefication? Check out our Genrefication of your school’s fiction collection post.