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. . . . .
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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