Fiction section by genres

I took the plunge. I rearranged the fiction section in to genres. While the traditional arrangement by author last name makes for quick location of specific books, I believe it was a barrier to student motivation to read. Looking at a wall of book spines was overwhelming to students and if we are to encourage them to read in addition to all of the other activities that compete for teenagers’ time, I believe we need to make selection and access to books as user friendly as possible.

Since much of fiction selection is on a browse basis, and so many students come in wanting a genre type, this just made sense to me. Plus, reports from fellow librarians that circulation increased after implementing this type of organization sealed the deal for me.

I began by assigning a colored dot to each of these categories:

Historical Fiction


Sports and Action

Realistic Fiction



Fantasy/ Science Fiction

Then, I placed the appropriate category dot on each fiction spine. I then changed the call numbers in cataloging, and finally, moved the books to the appropriate section.

Mrs. McPherson’s graphic design students made me signage:

Realistic Fiction

Final product:


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  1. #1 by Tiffany on November 29, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    That is neat. How’s this been working for you now that it’s been switched for a while? Sometimes I think it would do some more libraries a bit of good to switch things around like this.

  2. #2 by mstigge on November 30, 2011 - 4:55 pm

    Thanks, Tiffany. It has been working well! Students tell me that they really like being able to more easily find a ‘type’ of book that they are looking for. The only downside is that students are hesitant to look outside their set genre. I’m working on creating “Book Tasting” events to get students to look outside their box. Stay tuned- I’ll post about it…

  1. Book Tasting « LibraryLand

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