Genrefication in the Library

Primary school students are very visual in their book choices. Arrangement of books greatly affects how students make choices. Since most students ask for books by broad topics, e.g. books about puppies or dinosaurs or cars or presidents, Jan decided to make the leap and genrefy the entire library, fiction and nonfiction, by topic. The initial reaction was very promising and circulation patterns changed, but Jan took an opportunity for a new challenge at the neighboring Holley Navarre Middle the next year.

This presentation is a collection of what she learned while genrefying the HNP library, genrification stories from other area librarians, and tentative plans to do some genrefication at her current middle school library. It focuses on anecdotes of individual librarians and their genrefication projects to exemplify the reasons, the work involved, and the outcomes of these projects.


Jan Macauley has been a school library media specialist for 12 years, with an MIS from Florida State University. She is currently the librarian at Holley Navarre Middle School in Navarre, FL. Jan got interested in genrefication while looking for ways to improve student access at the library at Holley Navarre Primary School, where she worked for 11 years. She believes libraries are all about access, connecting people of all types to whatever piques their interests and serves their needs. Prior to becoming a librarian, Jan worked in environmental science for 20 years. She discovered that environmental and library sciences have a lot in common and many of the same tools – classification, description, cataloging – are essential in both disciplines.