My library has been divided by genre for most of this school year. We spent two months without genres, and now we have had four months with the fiction section divided by genre. Not only that, but three of those months (November, December, February) had at least five school holidays, which makes these statistics even more telling. The blue bars represent last year's circulation, and the red bars are for this year:
I have noticed that my strong readers are thriving in this genre-fied library. They know how to find what they like, and they notice when we get new books in a particular genre. They also have discovered that some of the genres are fairly similar, so that if they like mythology, for example, they may also like fantasy or paranormal books, or if they like romance, they may also like realistic fiction.
Some of my weaker readers, though, are still lost. They know what books they can tolerate, but they don't understand how to find them without my assistance, so I am constantly reminding a small group of students that Diary of a Wimpy Kid is in the humor section, and that the humor section has a yellow stripe. Even then, these students will only read Wimpy Kid and won't touch other funny books, like Patterson's Middle School series or Angleberger's Origami Yoda series. So while I would call my genre-fying successful, I still need to do more work to catch the non-readers in my library.
Thus I created an interactive infographic entitled "What's Your Genre?" This display is on a large brown cabinet near my fiction section. I combined what I knew about the various genres in our library with my students' demonstrated love for quizzes and gave them a way to choose a genre to read. It is not perfect by any means, but it is a start. Already I have noticed students starting at the top of the graphic and following a line to the end, then going to the top and changing their answers to see if they get a different result. I am hoping this will result in students trying a new genre as well as being better able to identify which genre a particular book belongs to.
In the future, I am planning to tailor my book talks to a particular genre for each class visit so that all classes are exposed to all different genres early on. I also make sure to include a variety of genres in my displays and booklists so that students are encouraged to explore the different sections of my library.
If anyone is interested in borrowing this idea, you can access the slides I printed/laminated to make the display here.
If you haven't read the first part, here's a link to the original Genrefied post.