Monday, March 10, 2014

The Right Questions to Ask While Genrefying Your Fiction

Someone recently asked me how I pick where a book would go if it meets multiple genres.  The truth is, it is extremely rare that a book ONLY falls in to one genre.  Many westerns have romance in them.  Time travel stories can happen entirely in the past and therefore be attractive to historical fiction readers.  I can go on and on with examples.  

Fortunately I've had a lot of practice genrefying when I used to work for Realms of Fantasy, the short fiction magazine.  I was one of their editors and part of my job was helping authors to classify their stories so they market them to the right publications.  And I really enjoy figuring out what genres can be applied to a book, believe it or not.  Applying genres to a book is really similar to listing its subject headings.  

It isn't always foolproof, but I ask myself the following questions when I'm trying to genrefy a book, and they usually do the trick for me:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Let the Fiction Genrefying Begin!

I am so excited to announce that we have begun the process of genrefying the fiction section in our high school library media center!

There is a lot of controversy involving this topic in the library world, and for good reason.  At the end of the day, helping our patrons find what they're looking for is one of the core functions of our existence.  Anything that threatens that goal can turn librarians in to very scary people because it matters so much to us.

However, we believe that genrefying our fiction will serve our patrons better.  Here's why:


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weeding the Library: Trials and Tribulations

Let's first begin with the definition of weeding.  I like Arizona State Library's definition because it's quick and easy:  "Weeding (also known as deselection) is an essential element of collection development that ensures the library’s materials are useful and accessible."

Useful and accessible.  Those are the two biggies and they affect one another.  If your library is filled with non-useful items, the useful ones are no longer accessible.  If your library is filled with useful items, they will be easily accessible.

I am about to weed my library again and I want to make sure I do it right.  I know I didn't last time and I want to correct that.  That not only means taking my time and depending on resources like CREW:  A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries, but that also means getting the input of my teachers.

But sometimes getting the RIGHT input can be a challenge.  That's why I'm writing this post, in the hopes of explaining what information library media specialists really need when they ask, "give me a reason for keeping this book."