Hello everyone! So if you read my last blog post, you will have discovered that I started my Journey Towards Genrefication last month, and I hope my blog post helped and inspired some of your to take on the journey as well! As I started my journey, more and more I began to realize how important it was! Any doubt I had about genrefication was pretty much gone by the time I finished my goal for just the first week. So I wanted to take a moment to just jot down a few notes about how the beginning of my journey was going now that I've accomplished some work.
First, I've set out a schedule for myself. I've gone through my calendar, seeing who has already signed up for the library in March and April, and set out a schedule for myself for when I will be going through and weeding/categorizing nonfiction. Take a look at my April below.
What I've done is divided out our nonfiction into rows or sections and tackling each row or section on day at a time. I actually started this project in March one day a week. Because I was in the middle of our 9th grade health research projects, it was a little crazy on my end as I co-taught for a solid month with our health teachers! So I squeezed in once a week for weeding and categorizing. I'm hoping I can stick to this schedule above. However, I'm already behind! I think I have a plan to get caught up by the end of this week though. I've learned my lesson to be a little more flexible with my schedule. I have down in the details on my Google calendar exactly what section I will hit on that day, and I have definitely adjusted as I've gotten behind. April is the month I'll really be focusing on it, so you can see I'll be up to my eyeballs in books during this month! If all goes according to plan, I'll be done by May 5th!
So when I tackled my first row, and I already thanked myself that I didn't commit to any stickers. Row one consisted of everything from the 001's to about the 350's. As I mentioned above, if my belief in doing this was ever in doubt, after going through these sections, I have faith now!
So I took a step back and said to myself that I should weed a little further and evaluate my categories after I had weeded to see what was staying. In the end, I realized I needed to add a few categories and amend a few. Yeah for no stickers yet!
Here are the genres I ended up with:
A few were amended to clearly include other genres. For example, "Science" was now "Science and Technology." I don't believe I have enough books in my collection to support technology being it's own genre, but it fits in nicely with science. Later, I amended this again to read "Science and Invention" to incorporate the plethora of books we have on inventors and inventions! In addition to this, I amended "Health" to be "Health and Psychology." It just made it a bit more clear. In addition to this, I added the categories "Fun Facts" and "Self-Help and Inspiration."
It was one of those instances where I didn't think I had very many self-help books, but once I combined it with "Inspiration," I found the section started to flesh out more. Soon after, I encountered a TON of Chicken Soul for the Soul books. I weeded out all of them that weren't geared towards teens, but now I had a category where they could go.
Any books that have been on the table for a week go onto the cart. Any books that have been on the cart for over a week get boxed up. Boxes that have been there a while get officially surplussed! This is a simple system that has worked well in explaining it to TAs. The only problem has been that I'm moving a bit faster than the free books. So we've made some executive decisions about books we won't put out on the table and just directly surplus.
Next, I found it was EXTREMELY helpful once I reached about the 398's that the copy categories started lining up much more. I had whole shelves that were just "Myths and Legends" or "Nature and Animals." This made it easy for me to weed and then have a TA go back through and scan the books into the copy categories. This way, I could just set them up to scan and move onto the next section. This only really worked once I hit sections that had all books of one solid category though.
My last musing is that I'm excited to bring teachers in to take a look at what our collections holds and what I'm planning on weeding. I want to giver certain departments ownership over the collection. Many just may not know what we have. I want them to help me in deciding to keep something in our collection, make suggestions, and recognize what we have to offer.
I'm going to e-mail our art teacher right now. . . . .
So let me start with WHY I have decided to go this route. It fairly simple. Above all else. . . .I want students to read. And that's the big part: ABOVE ALL ELSE. I have been thinking for a while now that genrefication wasn't for me because it was more applicable to middle school and elementary school libraries. I was here to prepare kids of college. I needed to teach students how to find things in a library. I didn't want to rock the boat. There was no way I could do this with fiction because some books crossed over genres, and I didn't want students just sticking to one genre. I wanted them to explore them all!
And so on and so forth.
But it wasn't until CSLA this past year when we had the Queen of Genrefication, Tiffany Whitehead, as our keynote speaker that I began to open up my mind. And my long-held beliefs began to crumble because, again, above all else I wanted kids to read. Who cares if they just read all sci-fi books? Who cares if they don't know the Dewey Decimal System when they leave here? They will be readers. They will want to go to the library for resources. And that's the bottom line.
COME UP WITH A PLAN
Finally, before I touched a single book, I came up with a system of steps I was going to take to make the process as streamlined as possible within Destiny and the moving project in general. It is March, and I would like to have this project completed by the time we leave school. Yeah, I'm crazy.
So I needed a plan that would not completely disturb my library in the middle of the year, and I wanted to make sure I was efficient as possible. This is where the research really came in handy. So here is my process I will be going through. . . .
STEP ONE: WEEDING AND COPY CATEGORIES
I'll be going row by row in my nonfiction section and weeding first. Once the row is weeded, I will put the books into genres and use the "batch update" to scan in and change the category.
Wait, wait. . . .how did I do that? Take a look below.
As you will see above, these are the categories for nonfiction that I currently have, but I'm sure it will evolve. So I first created all of the categories under "Catalog" and then under the tab "Copy Categories." From there, I added all of the genres I eventually wanted my nonfiction to be in. IMPORTANT: Make sure the "Restricted" button is not checked. It will automatically be checked when you start this process.
As you can see, I have already started this process (just a little), so I have a few already in categories. If I click on "View" I will be able to see all the titles in that category.
I decided to mark the books with this first because it didn't have too much impact on Destiny on the student's end, but it gave me an excellent idea really quickly how many books we will have in each category. Through this, I will be able to decide how much space I need, how many stickers I will need, etc. Plus, through the copy category, I can globally change records pretty easily and quickly. I can also change call number prefixes, if I wish, globally as well. Thank you to Jennifer Sawyer who started me down this right path! I appreciate it!
So once all your copy categories are added, it's easy to update a bunch of titles into one copy category. Just use the batch update feature. Click on "Catalog," then "Update Copies," then "Batch Update." From there, select that you want to "Add Category" and select the copy category you would like to add to your books. Then just scan them all in and press update. Ta-da! All done!
STEP THREE: SUBLOCATION
Once all of the books are in categories, we will use the global update feature to add in a sublocation.
First, you need to add in the sublocations to match the different genres (or copy categories). The only way I have found to do this in Destiny is to go into editing a copy of ANY book. Then, you will click on "Other" by sublocation to add in different sublocations. Please watch the video below to see exactly how to add in the sublocations.
So to globally add in the sublocation into all of your books through the copy category, go into Catalog, then "Update Copies" on the left hand side, and then the "Global Updates" tab. From there, you can update the copy by category and add a sublocation globally.
I'm planning on doing this after I've gone through ALL of the nonfiction. So this step won't be done for a while. This is because adding the sublocation is something that students can see when they pull the book up in Destiny. I don't want any confusion mid-year, so I'm opting to do this once I'm ready to make the shift instead.
STE FOUR: SPACE, SIGNAGE, and STICKERS
So once I have all the copy categories added, I can evaluate how many copies of each genre we have and plan the move accordingly. We have one very long wall for our nonfiction and four short shelves towards the back of our library for nonfiction as well. My goal is to only have nonfiction on that long wall and knock out all of the lower shelving. Use the space for something else!
So that will mean cutting our nonfiction down by about 40% by my estimates. I'm up for the challenge, and I believe it is do-able as long as I keep chanting to myself, "Quality over quantity. . . .quality over quantity. . . ."
So once we know where exactly everything is going, we'll be able to start on signage and stickers for the project. Now, I did consider stickering everything as I was going along. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't I want to immediately know where all the genres are easily and quickly for the move?" A couple of things stopped me. . . .
First, I don't know how many stickers I will need AND the categories may change as I move along. I want to make sure I'm being efficient. Also, as I go through the rows, I will note what genres are in that row, so I can refer back to this as I pull a genre to relocate. Plus, I didn't want to confuse students or my library TAs that do all the shelving for us.
I just need to also make sure that as nonfiction books come back, my assistant is putting those books aside to get a copy category added to it before it goes back on the shelf. Important step!
Perhaps I am shooting myself in the foot and creating more work for myself by not stickering now. Time will tell. . . . .
STEP FIVE: DO THE MOVE!
And then, we do the move! Slowly but surely things will begin to evolve and change in the library, hopefully for the better. I'm hoping this will increase circulation in our nonfiction section, make it easier for students to find books they need for research, and make our library a more student-centered space!
Wish me luck! I've already started just a few sections, and it's already been an adventure. Back to it!
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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