Reflection on Genrefication
Have you genrefied your library? Searching blogs, library consultants ideas, and library journals, it seems most school libraries have given genrefication a go, or at least thought about it. I first tried my hand at genrefication back in 2017, when we genrefied the Young Adult section of our P-12 Library. You can read about my process genrefying the fiction collection in this post, as well as a one year follow up here. I have also written posts about genrefication for the National Education Summit blog here. I will be speaking about my experiments with genrefication in my presentation at the 2021 National Education Summit in Brisbane – find more information or buy a ticket to join us here.
But is genrefication still relevant? Is it still a buzz word? Does it deserve to be? How many libraries have genrefied and moved on? How many have decided it isn’t for them? I have worked at five school libraries over the past six years. Of those, four had genrefied their fiction section (or we genrefied while I was there), and none of them had a genrefied non-fiction collection. Since then, two of those libraries have now or are about to genrefy their non-fiction collection. I have also recently attended a genrefication workshop with Kevin Hennah, who has been a long-time supporter of genrefication. So, does this mean genrefication is still of interest to school library teams? Is it the way in which we will all move? After the 2020 we had, it seemed like many school libraries used the learning from home period to take the opportunity to genrefy their library. I’d love to hear whether you have genrefied, have it planned or chosen not to. Let me know in the comments below or connect via your choice of social media platform.
I’m Speaking at the National Education Summit Brisbane 2020
I’m so excited to announce that I will be one of the speakers at the 2020 Brisbane National Education Summit Capacity Building School Library Conference. I was fortunate to attend last year – you can read my summary of the event here – and now I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present in 2020.
The conference runs across two days – Friday 15th May and Saturday 16th May, 2020 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. If Melbourne is more your area, there is a Melbourne-based conference that runs in August 2020. This year, the Brisbane conference is bigger than ever with 7 conferences and symposiums run across the two days, focusing on leadership, wellbeing, additional needs and, of course, libraries. As well as the conferences there is also a free expo and free seminars.
In 2020 the Capacity Building School Libraries conference’s focus is the power of reading, diverse collections, and the power of evidence. There will be four streams across the two days. Keynote speakers are Dr Margaret Merga, lecturer and researcher who is doing great things for school library research, and Dr Ann Gillespie, Doctoral Research Fellow at QLD Institute of Technology. There are also heaps of other amazing researchers, teacher librarians, authors and booksellers who are presenting. Head to the National Education Summit website for full details.
I’ll be speaking on the Friday with my Head of Library, about genrefication and the steps we have taken to increase student engagement with reading. I’m really looking forward to presenting and to listening to all the other presenters – it’s a fantastic opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business and take home lots of practical tips and ideas.
You can find information about the presentations and buy tickets on the NES website. I hope to see you there.
Library Ramblings: Genrefication – one year on
A year ago, our school library transformed our Young Adult collection. Using a variety of new genre stickers, genre groupings and collection changes, we fully embraced the genrefication process for our fiction collection. One year on, I took the time to investigate how the change effected our library, borrowing statistics, usage of the collection and student feedback, and how this reflection would direct our future practice. Here is what I learnt, my successes, what I could have done better and my thoughts on the overall process.
Genrefication of a library fiction collection
Genrefication is perhaps the new (and yet not that new at all, really) buzzword for libraries. Opinions are divided on the benefit of such a move, and whether this step should apply to fiction or non-fiction collections (Pendergrass, 2013). Library consultants such as Kevin Hennah (Hennah, n.d) advocate for this book-shop model. Others cite the benefits, which range from better data collection on circulation and a visual aid for collection development to increased user engagement with the collection (Sweeney, 2013).
Genrefication actually isn’t that new (Shearer, 1996), but research surrounding its use and impact on readers is now increasing (Moyer, 2005). Moyer’s review of literature surrounding readers’ services found that genrefication can improve circulation, reader satisfaction, and ease of library navigation. However, other researchers found that genrefication may not be needed as technological advancements and provisions of OPACs allow library users to browse and search by genre digitally (Moyer, 2005). More research is needed on this area, and as individual libraries make the move to present their collection by genres more data can be gathered and shared about its benefits and limitations.