Genrefying – Part 2 – Labels

So, in part one I talked about how I was writing the genre in every book cover.  This took forever!  Well, it felt like it.  It took more like 4 more days.

I noticed something during that time – there was no way that Sci Fi and Fantasy could stay together.  There are way too many in that category to stay together.  And, it was something I considered anyhow, since I could justify having them together, but kind of not.  So, like any sane librarian, I Googled to see what others did.  I found some who kept them together; others did not.  And I could see why – one belongs with magic and spells, witchcraft, etc.  The other belongs with dystopian, with futuristic, with robots.  So, I decided to separate them.  But this led to another problem – labels.

As I showed last post, I had my categories set.  I had actually already purchased my labels (this was an exciting adventure, but one for another post) so I was stuck.  Or so I thought.  I then realized my romance section wasn’t as large as some of the others, and so by not labeling the graphic novels, I had what I needed.  🙂  So, of course I had to switch around colors.  Now, romance/relationships are purple, Sci-Fi is blue, Action/Adventure is red.  It works.

So, back to genrefying books.  As I said it took me close to 4 days just to get every book labeled with its genre.  It definitely took time!  I recommend anyone who does this to be patient and have perseverance.  There were times I wanted to just stop.  But, I got through it.

By that point, my colored labels came in.  It was an exciting day when they came in.  And it was perfect, because at that point I was working on a collaborative project with one of the ELA teachers in my building.  She does speed book dating, which I’ll get to in another post.  So, getting books labeled with extremely important to do, and do quickly.  But, there was a slight hitch – the former librarian chose to relabel book series with the start of the series title instead of the authors name.  So, I have to go back and relabel the spine labels and then put the genre labels on.  So, more time.  With 4 days in, I”m about 75% done with the fiction labeling.  I mostly just have to print and relabel spine labels and then put the genre labels on.  But, it’s going!

Oh, my favorite thing.  My students have been watching me do this for now 2 weeks if they come in the library, which most do when they need something from the printer.  The look at me and one day, one asked, “Ms Becker, are you going to have to do this to all the books?!?” Yes, yes I am.  But the end result will be worth it.


Genrefying – Part 1

So, I have decided to genrefy my new library.  Not only have I wanted to genrefy, but I feel that should help circulation.  I have seen many sites and articles stating that.  So, this is my story.

I’m starting with going through the collection and writing small on the inside cover what section it belongs to.  And I’m noticing some things.  First.  I don’t have a section for something that several books belong to, and they don’t seem to belong to something else… this is frustrating.  Had I realized, I would have ordered more/different labels.  So, I may be switching things around…. Second.  This takes a hecka long time!  I worked for around 2 hours today and got three shelves done.  That’s not including the new books I already got, plus the ones on my reshelving cart which I also got.  So, this will definitely take several more days, depending on interruptions.

Then, of course, there is the labeling itself. I just (excitedly) ordered my supplies for this.  Excited because I got to actually order myself, but that’s another story for another post.  But, yeah, they are ordered and hopefully won’t take too long to get here.  Hence why I’m doing the genre figuring out first.   I also have to relabel a hecka lot of books… another story though.

Overall, I’m excited for this project.  It is a labor of love.  But, as I talk it up more to people, I’m definitely getting some buy in.  We shall see…


My current genre list…

My BreakoutEDU boxes


Image from

So I have done BreakoutEDU boxes a couple times.  At edcamps, as well as during a half-day PD where a colleague brought in her set.  I love them.  If you have no idea about BreakoutEDU boxes, check out this video to get you started.

Anyhow, I love the boxes as I said, but I could not figure out how to justify paying $125 per box.  Sorry BreakoutEDU people, that’s a toughy for me.  Apparently they used to have an open source list to build your own, but it has since gone away (see link at the end).  So, in true Jennifer Lagarde style (who unbeknownst to me literally just wrote a blog post about this exact thing!) and  #MacGyverLibrarianship, I searched online, sourced different blogs, and made my own.

My BreakoutEDU Box.png

So, I should mention some things.  First, I love Menards.  Obviously.  Second, I bought several things on sale or for different prices that what I have found as of today.  That will definitely change prices if you choose to go a similar way to me.  Third, my goal was to create 5 boxes.  I have almost 4 sets (reason is because of that one darn 4 digit lock that has failed.)  I have a few things I need to add to make the 5th set, which may or may not cost a bit more overall.  But, I think I did well in doing a little bit of #MacGyverLibrarianship! I’m really looking forward to using these with my students, as soon as I get them to school.

What have your experiences with these boxes been like?  How about when students open them?  Did you add a treat or something other than just the sign?  I’d love to hear what you did!

Other blogs sourced (link goes directly to the post):

Mirror Into Teaching

Hey Mr. Stern