Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cataloging: Genre-fying Our Fiction Collection (Part 2)

I am happy to say that we have now finished the genre project in the Upper School (High School), the process is still ongoing in the middle school, but we should be done next year. Here is how we went about finishing:

Once we had entered genres for about half of the titles in the catalog we put some parent and student volunteers on labeling. I printed out a new shelf list that showed the new call numbers with the genres on them. Started with "A" our volunteers began labeling. We played with the best way of completing this task. In the end having a cart available in the aisle and pulling books off one by one turned out to be the preferred method for the volunteers.

There are several choices for the labels on the books and we pursued each of them. I really liked the idea of using plain white labels or even cut pieces of paper and then purchasing colors label protectors. However, we did not want to have to reprint all our spine labels, we needed a solution that we could add to the books we currently had. I took the time to research pre-made genre labels from Demco and The Library Store. We came to the conclusion that most of the images on the labels fit elementary and middle schools more than high schools. I then chose to create labels myself using well known icons for each genre, yet when we printed them and tested them out on our current books, it covered up a lot of the title and/or the author. I then created skinny labels that just had the name of the genre. I used different fonts to try and portray what the genre was about (for horror I used a spooky looking text...). We then took the genre labels with the images I had made and the genre labels with just the text to our Library Advisory Board and let them vote. They chose the version with just the text. This worked out well because on the majority of our current books we could fit the genre label below the spine label and not cover more of the book than necessary.

I found some small, skinny labels from Planet Label. We went with a pack of Pastel colors and a pack of Brilliant colors. This gave us 12 colors to choose from (we only have 10 genres). I was also able to download the label template from the Planet Label website and then paste in the genre text image I had created. The labels we used are here. The colors we assigned to the genres are as follows: Adventure: bright yellow; Dystopian: lime green; Fantasy: raspberry; Historical: light yellow; Horror: greyish green;  Mystery: light grey; Realistic: greyish blue; Romance: neon pink; SciFi: neon blue; Sports: neon orange. Here are the text files if you want to use them for your project:

We decided to put the genre labels at the very bottom of the spine for each book. If an older book had a spine label that was too low, for the genre label to fit, then the volunteer would pull the book and I would reprint the spine label. This way when you look at a shelf of all one genre they line up with each other.

Moving the Books:
Once the cataloging was complete we moved on to moving the books. Before any book was moved I ran reports in Destiny. I ran an individual report for each genre so I knew approx. how many books were in each genre. I then went through the shelves and estimated each could fit 20 books on a shelf. I printed out a floor plan of the library and wrote in where each genre would go. It seemed like we would not have enough room so we made the decision to move where our graphic novels were located and that allowed us to open up an extra bookcase.
We then started by moving all the realistic books to the now empty graphic novel bookcase. Then we slowly pulled smaller genres off the shelves and put them on carts and a temporary bookcase that we rolled in for the moving process. Once most of the genres were off the shelves we were able to get the rest moved into their correct places and then add back in the ones we had pulled. We did run into a few issues when books just did not fit as we planned, but being flexible made the process go smoothly. With tons of help from the student volunteers we had the moving done in days!

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