Genrefication in Secondary School Libraries
Most school libraries organize fiction books alphabetically by an author’s last name. In order for a student to find and compare potential fiction reading material, the traditional school library model would have the student either search the library system for the topic and then go from stack to stack looking for books about the topic from any number of locations or seek advice from school library staff who would direct the student to potential titles as part of a reader’s advisory. In an effort to make fiction book selection easier for students, some school librarians have turned to genrefied fiction collections. However, there are many school librarians who feel that organizing fiction books by genre first rather than author’s last name creates more problems than it solves. This paper will explore the history behind genrefication, discuss the Paradox of Choice and patron browsing habits, and present the modern debate regarding genrefication of fiction books in school libraries.