Organizing Fiction by Genre?

Karen Pippenger asks an interesting questions for us to consider:

Has anyone here organized their fiction by genres? Just wondering, and if you have, what categories did you use? Tell me about how you did it and how long it took, how did you mark the books, and did you change the cataloging record?

I have not done it, and not thinking about it right now, but in the future it might be a point to make the library more user friendly. So the more I know, the easier it will be.


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  • We had the highest number of Sunday checkouts yesterday! Here's the picture of the inside of the genre notebook. We will have an ongoing process to keep the notebook up to date as books are returned and as we add new books to the collection. 


  • The wifi worked great so we easily reclassified the location of the fiction with the scanner. We also set up a notebook as pictured below that has a tab for each genre followed by a report that includes all the books in the genre listed alphabetically by spine label (author's last name). I'll take another picture of the notebook on Wednesday so you can see how the tabs are color coded to match the shelves. 


  • This week we hope to make headway on reclassifying the location of the fiction on our online catalog (Atriuum). Here's what it looks like on our online catalog. 

    1. Click here.
    2. Click on title of book.
    3. Click on Holdings tab.

    We already have the Atriuum location options revised to include the 6 genres. We are going to use the bulk reclassify tool. That means we will scan the barcodes on each shelf of books at a time so we don't get too many in the que if there is a problem. We will do each genre at a time.

    Our hitch to deal with before Wednesday? To enable wifi to extend to the wall where our fiction is located. Our church tech guy will work on that before Wednesday. Here's hoping!

    Forest Hills Baptist Church Enrichment Center
  • I have been sorting my youth and young readers books so that the young readers books are on the lower shelves. We may have trouble finding books but I think it will be useful for the shorter readers

  • Last Wednesday Amy and I got way more done than we thought we would. We finished the dots process and the color protective labels on all the fiction. Love the difference these changes make to the shelving. Please ignore our crooked spine labeling. We are changing that over time. Click on the full screen icon next to HTML to get a better view of the picture. Note that we are figuring out the right typesize and font for the Biblical divider. 


    This week we are using Atriuum bulk cataloging to identify the genre on each book by using location such as Main Biblical. When we can get the wifi to work in this part of the library we will scan the barcodes. A work in progress for sure!

  • We use genre labels from Demco, and create the ones we want which they don't have.  Here are the labels we use:


    Historical Fiction; Mystery; Suspense; Biography; Fantasy; Dystopian; Science Fiction; Classics; Christmas

    We have created:

    Biblical Fiction; Good Read (books which are not from a Christian author or publisher but we believe to be positive additions to our library); Bible Story (picture books); Autumn.


    We plan to label our Easter/Lent books as well but haven't done it yet.

  • Just purchased shelf dividers from DEMCO. We finally landed on 6 genres for our fiction: Adventure, Biblical, Historical, Inspirational, Mystery, and Romance. DEMCO Dividers do not have Biblical nor Inspirational. We are using Poetry for Inspirational and Relistic for Biblical with some creative way to communicate Inspirational and Biblical on these dividers.

    This week we start using 6 colored pens to put a small dot on each book spine lable indicating which genre. Then we will go through and attach correlating color protector labels. 

    We use Atriuum so we are using the Physical Location to catalog the genre which will enable OPAC to point users to the genre. We will use Reclassify to bulk update the catalog. 

    When all that is done, we will set up the new arrangement on the shelves. 

    Atleast that is the plan! In case you are wondering, we have 852 books in our fiction collection. Our goal is to have all this done by April 20 when we are hosting the Disciple Leaders Network Church Library track. 

    How about your genre plans?


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  • We just remodeled our library. I had already pulled Missionary books for their own section. At this point, I am starting with only Biblical Fiction and Commentaries. After I see how that works, will plan on others. Not intending to color code at this point. 

  • I would like to see your labels.


    Gloria Sexton

  • I understand the interest in this area. After reading the replies, I like the idea of the spine label indicating the genre. I also thought of colour coding on the spine to indicate genre... so I would leave it alphabetical and simply add a coloured circle sticker....

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