Display – Genre Quiz

As part of our focus on genres this year, this interactive, walkable genre quiz display was placed at the front of the library leading to our young adult fiction collection to increase student engagement with the collection and new genre-sorted layout.

After genrefying our young adult collection, we noticed that our students had decreases engagement and borrowing from this area in the first 6 months after the reshuffle. Read more about that here. Possible confusion about the genres and layout was one suggested reason for this decrease, so we decided to commence a year of targeted promotion of this area and genres. The Genre Quiz was our first display of the school year.

The student response and interaction was immediate and very positive. The display took up a large area and was instantly eye catching. Everyone who walked through our doors gravitated to the first sign and started weaving their way through the shelves and panels I used to create the walkable quiz.

Step 1: Design

Designing this quiz was the hardest part of creating this display. I used a variety of online quizzes to form my questions. I wanted them to be relevant and yet not too obvious. I wanted there to be some chance involved and yet have students arrive at a genre that would interest them. I wanted a “oh, cool, that’s right” moment for students. I used a large number of scrap A3 pieces of paper to map out the quiz. I wrote possible questions, linked them to possible resulting genres, colour coordinated it, changed my mind, had to throw in more random general questions about food to get the steps to work out and almost tore my hair out. But eventually I had a series of questions that would work.

Step 2: Create posters and print

I created the posters using a word processing program, added a border of all our genre stickers, created the matching answers, added a few large arrows to help with students finding their way through the quiz and created smaller reading suggestions posters. I then printed and laminated as necessary.

Step 3: Layout

I knew I wanted this quiz to be interactive and walkable. I knew I wanted it to be eye catching. I knew I had an entrance display board, the YA fiction shelving area and adjoining study area (7×20 meters) to use. I knew I had connectable, freestanding display boards to use, as well as the tops of shelves. Initially I wanted the end result posters to be placed on tables, surrounded with themed props (wands, origami dragons for fantasy, etc) with lots of books on display.

However, the tables were needed elsewhere, and so I compromised by placing a lot of the result posters on the shelves next to the relevant genre section and creating reading suggestion posters.

The Result

The quiz had a high engagement from students. Young and older students enjoyed the quiz. While the suggestion posters and result posters were targeted at our YA readers, our junior readers were quick to join in and use their result to find similar books and genre labels in the junior fiction area. It was a great conversation starter. Teachers bringing students into the library for a class were happy to allow students to spend the first five minutes of the lesson weaving their way through the quiz. The response from teachers was also very positive. “Great idea.”

Yes, I’d do this again. It’s something that can now be easily altered for the space we have. After moving (again) our YA collection before the school holidays, this genre quiz was the perfect way to get students thinking and talking about genres and where they can find them in their reading sections.