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  • Writer's pictureThe Mischievous Librarian

Genre-fying: The Journey Part 1

Original Post: July 26, 2019

A Million Reasons Why...

Actually, not a million. That would dramatic!

​Lady D and I have contemplated the idea of genre-fying the intermediate fiction section for over a year and we finally decided the bite the bullet and do it.

Two high schools in our district made the change and are still riding high on the increased circulation of books, Not to mention the empowered students who are able to navigate the shelves with greater ease and success.

Potter’s (2016) survey of elementary students and the recent change to Bookstore Model of genrefication of the library resulted in 84% of students responding positively to the change (p. 52). Book selection was faster and more successful with books shelved in genres (Potter, 2016, p. 53). I, myself, find it much easier to browse the shelves in Indigo/Coles when I can beeline right towards the genres I know I enjoy.


Tip #1: It's All in the Timing

We chose to start this endeavour at the end of June when most of the books were being returned before summer vacation. Secondary teacher-librarians swear by exam times or before winter holidays when students are busy with festivities.

Tip #2: Genres

As Sutton (2006) states, "You know your galaxy best!" (p. 561). This is especially true when deciding on the genres for your students. We have taken some licences with the term "genre" because Blacklock Library has a large population of humor and animal lovers. Our finalized list of genres includes:



Historical Fiction





Realistic Fiction

Scary (aka. Horror)

Science Fiction


Horning's (2010) From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books, and Vardell's (2019) Children's Literature in Action: A Librarian's Guide, are excellent handbooks for genre descriptions.

Stay Tuned for Part 2...

Horning, K. T. (2010). From cover to cover: Evaluating and reviewing children’s books. [HarperCollins e-Books version]. Retrieved from

​Potter, J. M. (2016). The effects of genrefication of fiction on the book selection process in elementary schools (Masters Starred Paper). Retrieved from

Sutton, R. (2006). Stars. The Horn Book Magazine, 82(5), 557- 561. Retrieved from

Vardell, S. M. (2019). Children's literature in action: A librarian's guide, 3rd edition. [Libraries Unlimited e-Books version]. Retrieved from

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