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.