Follett Unveils Genrefication Service for K–12 Libraries

Librarians considering making the leap to genrefication—organizing books by topic or genre, in a shift away from the Dewey Decimal System—have a new option: Follett Genre Solutions.

Librarians considering making the leap to genrefication—organizing books by topic or genre, in a shift away from the Dewey Decimal System—have a new option. Follett Genre Solutions offers a range of services to school librarians, from information on getting started with genres to the integration of the reader-friendly categories in book ordering and cataloging for Follett customers through its Destiny Library Manager and Titlewave products. 

Allowing students and other users to self-select titles independently in a bookstore-like arrangement, genrefying has become increasingly popular. Jennifer Brooks, a librarian at Donnell Middle School in Findlay, OH, reorganized her library’s fiction collection and reported a circulation increase of 80 percent in the first month, reported SLJ (“Circulation Surge: Want Your Books To Fly Off the Shelves? Try these Ideas.”)

With the guidance of a Genrefication Advisory Board convened in April 2018, the company went live last week with Follett Genre Solutions, launching with a list of genres in the fiction category, with accompanying labels and signage. A nonfiction list is expected on or about March 1, with picture book genres coming in April, according to Doug Thompson, a Follett spokesman.

Given the input of the librarian advisors, Steve Siegel, senior vice president, Global Product and International, Follett School Solutions, is confident that the “starter” list of genres will suit “most librarians in most cases,” he says. However, customers’ own genres, which librarians can define according to the needs or desires of their particular users, can also be integrated, with all genres automatically assigned to book orders within Titlewave.

“It is a lot of work to genrefy a library,” says Siegel. “It can be a huge undertaking.” For those libraries needing more support getting started, Follett’s team, from managed services to sales reps, can work with librarians, providing help, from shelving and space planning to updating MARC records, says Nancy Stetzinger, senior product manager at Follett. “It’s an ongoing process,” she adds.

For more information about Follett Genre Solutions, visit

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Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka is editor in chief of School Library Journal.

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