6 Tips and Tricks to Arranging Your School or Home Library by Genre

Whether you have a school library you are working on, are opening a community library, or want to spruce up the organization of your home library, arranging your books by genre is a great way to go. Many libraries around the nation are forgoing the Dewey Decimal system for one that uses genres to arrange books. If you are working on this, and have your library supplies labels ready, follow these tips:

  1. Pick the genres you want to use. Before you get to use your library supplies labels, you need to do some work. Before you use your library supply labels on anything, you need to work on what genres and what categories you have. When you are scrapping Dewey for a more tailored system, you should look at the books and materials that you have and what your needs are. If you are working on putting together a local, community, science library, your genres will be limited to scientific subjects. If you have an extensive home library that you open up to others, you should tailor the genres you use to what you have.
  2. Color code your labels. After you have your list of categories and genres set, you can start putting the library supplies labels on your books. You can get label protectors in a wide variety of colors so you should decide what colors will represent what genres before you start slapping labels on your books. This can make it a lot easier for people to find the books they are looking for. Using a system of color coding can also make the space look great.
  3. Fix any books that need it. As you are going through your books to label them, you may find that a number of books are a bit worse for the wear. You can get spine repair tape to fix any books that can be fixed. If and when you come across books that are beyond your ability to fix them, it might be time to recycle them and replace the ones you really want to be a part of your library.
  4. Put your books back on the shelves. This step can be complicated and challenging. The more books you have and the larger your space, the more complex the process will be. This is the step that often prevents people from starting the process of moving from the Dewey system to a more genre-based way to arrange library books. One way to shorten and simplify the process is to do it in alphabetic order by genre. Before you start, it helps to map out where each genre will find a home in your library.
  5. Take care of your catalog. If you are working in a school setting, you will need to create a catalog system to help students find the books they want. There are a few options and you need to work out what makes the most sense for you and the people who will use your library. Some of this will depend on the software you use to catalog your books and materials.
  6. Help people find the books they want with good signage. This is not something everyone people think about when it comes to reorganizing their libraries. Some think the way the books have been arranged and the way they used library supplies labels should make everything self-explanatory. Here’s the thing; nothing is self-explanatory. People depend on good, clear signage for a reason. People rely on it at the local library, in stores, and just about everywhere else. No library reorganization is really complete or finished until clean and clear signs have been put up.

It may not seem like it but people in the United States like to read. It has been estimated that the average American reads nearly 12 books every year. Almost 74% of people around the nation say they like to read books in a variety of formats. Most book readers like to read actual paper books. More than 67% of people say they read at least one printed book over the course of the last 12 months. FInding ways to make a library more user-friendly helps all readers.

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