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Technology in the classroom and teacher resources blog

The Relabelling and Reclassifying process of Non-Fiction School Library books

Book labelling
We used the same printer we purchased for the Fiction by Genre project.

Brother QL-720NW It is wireless so I can locate the printer anywhere, and all staff can print to it. It has an auto-cut feature which saves time. The model has been superseded by the...

Brother QL-810W Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking (newer model). It's a thermal printer so no printer ink costs.



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How I reviewed and reclassified my School Library non-fiction

The process of moving non-fiction titles to more relevant sections of the library was actually very straightforward.

I started with the History and Geography section (900) as it is the most frequently used by students and staff.

  • I removed all the 900s and stacked them up in accessible piles on tables in the library. I also added books that were stored else where under Teacher Resources, and from the Reference Section (these books cannot be taken home).
  • I asked all the History and Geography Teachers to visit the library together for an hour and a half one afternoon, a team of seven in my case. I did this during one of the school scheduled meeting slots so I didn't negatively impact their lesson planning or teaching.
  • I asked them to move any books to a separate table that
    • Were too old, that being any book that they didn't want students to use as a resource or reference in submitted assignments because if its age and therefore inaccurate or simply unappealing content.
    • Did not or no longer align with the values of the school. I found that donated books can easily fall into this category
    • Would be better in a different section of the library. Books on Japanese Kimonos for example were better suited to Customs (300), or Fashion (600)
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Is the Dewey System the most appropriate way to organise non-fiction for todays students?

Dewey – Non-Fiction - The current preferred Library Organisational System

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), colloquially the Dewey Decimal System, is a proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876.

The Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative locationand relative indexwhich allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on subject. Libraries previously had given books permanent shelf locations that were related to the order of acquisition rather than topic.

Originally described in a four-page pamphlet, it has been expanded to multiple volumes and revised through 23 major editions, the latest printed in 2011. The OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated (OCLC) has maintained the classification since 1988, and also publishes new editions of the system.

The above system works fine generally for non-fiction, although it is in the best interests of students if books are aligned with study themes and the school curriculum. Also, if books are not popular in one section, moving them to another can increase exposure and use.

About 15-20% of my non-fiction is not where the Dewey system indicated but by working in conjunction with teachers is instead where students are most likely to look.

I’ll be writing up how I recategorized my non-fiction fiction over Xmas

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What to do after organising your Libraries Fiction by Genre


Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Writing in progress


After organising fiction successfully by genre what next?

  • The non-fiction, which is a whole other post which I won't be writing until Xmas, but it is going very well!
  • Clear labelling of books within a genre that are in a series. Yes, the publisher sometimes does this clearly, but using standard labels for all our books has resulted in a jump of books being read that are in a series, either students returning to the author not having realised additional books were available or I'm guessing it my imply the author is a good one if they can write that many books?


There are a bazillion types of numbered stickers available. Multiple packets of numbers 1-5 will do fine for most if your collection. Had to buy higher numbers for prolific authors such as Rick Riordan and Terry Pratchet.

If you have any questions, feedback, or requests for additional photos please do so in the comments below.

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How to know if organising your Library by Genre has been a success

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Writing in progress


Evidence for success

  • Anecdotal
  • Observed
  • Teacher Feedback
  • Student Feedback
  • Data Analysis
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Practical tips to organise your schools Library Fiction collection by genre

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Writing in progress


  • Involve as many students and staff as possible.
  • What I did
  • What I recommend you do
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What Genres to choose when organising a School Library by Genre

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Writing in progress


The Genres

How many you decide to use will depend on the size of your collection.

If you are using Destiny Discover, that's our digital library database accessible to students, staff and parents, then as a minimum use the very same names and icons. This will help with staff and student adoption as they are already familiar with them.

These are the minim genres I think you will need / all the genres I use. In addition to my own choices I consulted with the English Teachers and checked the International Baccalaureate (IB) requirements too.

Genres - Fiction

  • Adventure
  • Classic Novels
  • Drama
  • Dystopian
  • Graphic Novels
  • Historical
  • Horror
  • Love & Romance
  • Mystery
  • Realistic
  • Romance
  • Science Fiction
  • Sports
  • Translated Fiction (International Baccalaureate (IB) requirement: I'm in Japan so I am required to have classic native texts available in English. This does mean I have a fantastic collection of Haruki Murakami books!).
  • World (Council of International Schools (CIS) requirement. Support of mother languages)


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Preparation and resources required to organise a School Library by genre

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Preparation

You're reading this. I'm impressed with your confidence. Well done.

Purchase a dedicated printer for the genre spine labels. I guess you could design the labels yourself and send them to a printers, but good luck trying to figure out how many you will need. Some books you will inevitably need to relabel in a few weeks time too.

Brother QL-720NW It is wireless so I can locate the printer anywhere, and all staff can print to it. It has an auto-cut feature which saves time. The model has been superseded by the...

Brother QL-810W Ultra-Fast Label Printer with Wireless Networking (newer model). It's a thermal printer so no printer ink costs.



Read more >>>
Comments

Should I organise my school library by genre?

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.


Writing in progress


Fiction

Why are books organized by the last three letters of the Authors family name?

(Currently looking for evidence)

My current thoughts from observing and listening to the students who visit my library…

“I would like to read books by authors who have names beginning with M” said no student ever.

Similarly, “I can ask the Librarian where the books are”, said no shy grade six student ever.


To Genrify, or not to Genrify, that is the question.

Or as I prefer to ask, if you are running a Student Centred library why would you not? This as opposed to a Librarian cCentred library.

Student centred learning. Constructivist / Inquiry Based vs Traditional

Student vs Librarian centred Libraries

Fiction filed alphabetically greatly helps but librarians put books away.

We encourage our students to be risk takers so this is your opportunity to lead by example. Start small, and very quickly I would expect you to see results that should show that this potentially immense task will be well worth the effort. Students will become very excited that their Librarians are working hard to make their library better for them and that there will be more* exciting books in genres that they so enjoy.

*More books - without spending any money !

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How to organise your Elementary or Secondary School Library Fiction by genre - Genrification how to and guide

Organising your Libraries Fiction by genre - a complete guide from an IB school Teacher Librarian who successfully did so.

Writing in progress

Below is the Adobe Spark Page I created for a meeting of International Baccalaureate (IB) International School Librarians showing how I organised my fiction by genre. I am now working through the non fiction. I am still adding to this guide, so please do ask for additional photos or for specific details in the comments and I shall add that information for you to this post and presentation.

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Author: Hi, I’m Tim from The Magic Crayons. I am a GradDipT, CELTA, and CELTYL qualified Primary and Kindergarten Teacher from the UK working at a Tokyo International School as an English Language Support teacher (ELS/EFL). IT Integration Specialist, and Teacher Librarian. This blog reflects my Graduate Diploma in Teaching studies with the University of South Queensland, Australia, PD, and ICT in the classroom interests. I create all the artwork and videos for the teaching materials within this website. New products and special offers will be announced here first. Everything I post is about products or services that I have tried in my own classes.

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