One area I'm focusing on this year is the Adult Fiction section with some incomplete series and a need for new books. As I update the Adult Fiction series, I believe it beneficial to classify our fiction section differently. That is, in a more specific way -- but not too specific. 

We just went online with our library, and so we can enter more specifically  into the computer. But when people browse in our library room, I'd like to make it a bit easier to find their taste of fiction. 

What are your thoughts/experience/opinions on genre-related subdivisions in relation to adult fiction? 

I wish to keep it a bit simple, but allow for more growth in the future. 

My thoughts at this time .............. 

So what if I use the following 3 time-related terms for subdivisions on our shelves?

1. Historical -- I'd include Biblical fiction here as well as others. Almost 1/2 of the fiction? 

2. Contemporary -  We've a number of these books, including Amish, Kingsbury series and more. Almost 1/2 of the fiction? 

3. Futuristic  -- would this cover books like the Left Behind Series or Sci-Fi type books?  A smaller portion of the fiction.    Would another term work better? 

What am I missing or not thinking of? What works in your church library?

By the way -- if it helps.... our library size involves about 2,400 items. 

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Thanks, Mary. I would love to see your library! I bet I could find some great reading!

I understand the process of handwritten labels --- we do the same. It does take a lot to think thru what we put on those labels. 

Thanks for your helpful comments. I'm ever so grateful for this forum & specifically for people like you who share. May you be blessed for your attentiveness in your library. 

what about suspense? it would go into all three categories sometimes. Mainly contemporary and futuristic

Hi Amanda --- 

You're right. There are many genres and sub-genres that fit into Historical Fiction, for instance. Western, Romance, and more.  Since my 1st post on this thread, I've read  more about genres - both secular and Christian. Whew! So many genres, sub-genres, crossing over genres, and more. It becomes overwhelming - at least to me. Visionary, Futuristic, Speculative . . . .  right now Speculative seems to be the top choice.  (Another post or thread . . . )

SO . . . Currently the books remain organized per author's last name (my original plan). 

With subcategories mixed thru-- Romance, Western, Suspense & so on..... BUT I hope to make it easy to browse genres online & possibly print the lists for the library room. The only difference church members see onsite is that the spine label is marked with a colored stripe to the left side of the label. 

In my weird urge to organize things, it bothers me to see contemporary suspense mixed in with historical romance. But I need to make this simple as I can for future librarians, while creating easy-to-browse fiction section. I notice certain people gravitating to certain genre and so it would be nice for those people to quickly locate their choice reading without having to sift through what they don't care to read. 

Special genres, could have a sticker or something to indicate its special genre? Since our library is online (only within this last year), I at least plan to indicate those genres online. 

Amanda, I identify with your comment. Thank you. 

Have you looked into genre spine labels from a library supply company? There are some really good ones that include pictures and make it very easy to distinguish one genre from another...and no need to remember color codes! I recommend The Library Store catalog.

Thanks, Janice.

The genre stickers can be helpful, but as of now, we're not distinguishing between Western, Romance, and so on. I also like "The Library Store" .

The only distinction made is related to treatment of time: historical, contemporary, and speculative. What I was trying to convey was that genres & sub-genres are overwhelming. So it would be way too much for our little library to go into that.

The books remain in alphabetical order according to author --- how I always planned ---even from the first post.  

There is suspense and mystery,  romance and sports I think Sci-Fi would work better than  futuristic and would cover thing because not all sci-fi is futuristic Might want to make Amish their own category But the problem I see with that is some authors write more than one style and then all of their books would not be together since you are computerized should be able to put the category in when you put the book in and then someone looking for valentines or penguins can find them by just typing in one or two words 

In the children's area we have used self sticking dot so while the books are in ABC order they know a green dot is sports lavender is New Testament story, red is Christmas it also makes it quick for us to pull  say Spring/Easter stories to put in daycare and children;s area without looking them up


So now, instead of the term "futuristic", we use the term, "speculative". Speculative covers any change on the time continuum. 

Since we are computerized, I can now go thru and make sure that each book is searchable as to its specific genre or sub-genre. I don't plan to use stickers on books to specify which genre --- I need to try to keep costs low as possible.  That's why the mark on the label to specify historical, contemporary, or speculative. Now people can easily ignore the distinction or use the distinction to their advantage. 

Thank you. 

I would find this to be a bit of a headache, but if you like the idea, morr power to you!

we just have one large fiction area, arranged alphabetically by author. However, i do add genre labels to many books (we get labels from demco) and i also type series labels ro put at the tops of the spines (the genre labels go at the bottom, just above the call number). These labels have made it much easier for our patrons to find specific items. 

Debbie, I believe if I were in your library, I'd easily be able to find series or non-series books as well as the type of book (genre) I'd like to read. So in a sense, I believe we have the same idea. 

We continue to also alphabetize books according to author. Instead of using "series" stickers, we have 3 sections which sit quite close to each other in our little library: stand-alones, sets, and series. Call number indicates which area to place the book.  The historical, contemporary, and speculative all sit side-by-side.


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