Wednesday, December 14, 2011

User-Friendly? - part 2

So, here are the nuts and bolts of how I rearranged my library to be genre based.  The entire process took just over a year and I'm loving the change.

Step 1
I determined the genres I would use and where each genre would be housed.  I decided to go with the following genres (I've also added the colors I decided to go with):
Historical Fiction
Chick Lit
Realistic Fiction
Sports Fiction
Easy Reader
Classics (no color)

Step 2
I purchased transparent colored labels and decided what color each genre was going to be.

Step 3
I weeded heavily and shifted my books around to create an area of space to begin

Step 4
I chose a genre and methodically went through my fiction section from AAA to ZZZ and picked out all the books that fit in that genre
I began with historical fiction because the open shelves from my weeding were right where I planned on housing my historical fiction section.  So, I'll use my historical fiction as my example for the rest of the post.

Step 5
My aide changed a few things in Destiny for each book.
*each title received a genre code in front of the current call number - ex)  HISTORICAL F XXX
*the sub-location of each book was changed to the appropriate genre
My aide then placed a transparent colored label over the existing spine label for each book and then shelved the books.

Step 6
I created a wordle for the genre by looking at titles and authors of the books that were housed in that section.  I had the wordle created into a poster.  I placed a few of the labels on the poster, to create a square of the color that was assigned to that genre.  Finally, I hung the posters above the beginning point of each genre section.  This is crucial for making it easy for your users to find the appropriate genre section.  

After pulling out all the books of one genre from the fiction section, I re-shifted the remaining fiction collection which opened up some more shelving.  So, I just repeated the process over and over until I had about 2 library carts full of those books that just don't seem to fall into one genre.  I slowly worked my way through that cart - asking students for their feedback, reading online summaries, and  looking at the recommended subject headings for that book.  Going through those two library carts was tedious, and sometimes I wished I could have created a separate category just for those difficult books ... but I found it better to just make an executive decision and house the book in a specific genre.

I created a google form and polled my students to get some feedback from them.  While of course, there were those who didn't like the change, the overwhelming majority loved it.

"I like that I can find the mystery ones (I like them the best) right away in their own section."

"I like fiction organized by genre because I know where to look for the specific kind of book I want."
 "Because I know where all the fiction book are which I prefer"

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