Reading? A New System Of Searching!


Aaron Toney

Big Sky Library bookshelves, showing the Genrefication system.

Cylestte Williams, Writer

Books. Some would say they’re an escape into another world. Others would say they’re endless cycles of words that drain on and on. Many people will tell you that a book can be something that makes you happy or sad. It can make you mad or annoyed. In the end, a book is something that can never be replaced.

But books her at Big Sky have changed. This year, the year of 2018-2019, the library has changed up the organization of the books.

A library will typically have the books organized by Author, in such a way that you could easily find a book written by an author of preference.

For example, if one is a fan of James Patterson, author of many book series from Maximum Ride to Witch and Wizard, when searching for his books in a library you would look for the bar code of PAT, symbolizing his last name being Patterson. But this year, the library now organized the books by genre. Though it is also organized in the way of author. As a bookworm myself, I find this new way of organizing quite annoying.

Through an interview with Librarian Rebecca Dupre I learned that the Genrefication system is one that bookstores will tend to use, meaning that only the fiction books are organized in such a way, whereas the non-fiction books are still done by the Dewey system.

“As Miss Lawrence and I select the books, or as the books come in, we read the back flaps, sometimes we look at a website we have called title waves,” Dupre began. “Often times we’ll also go to goodreads to see how users have shelved the book electronically.”

By any means, I am not saying it is a terrible way of placing the books. It actually is a smart way. It lets those who have a preference for certain genres be able to easily go to the section and choose a book to read.

“It’s not a perfect system. Every once in awhile there’s always a book that comes up that might seem like it really belongs in two sections,” Dupre stated.

A downside is that for people who are like me and don’t quite have preference for a genre, it becomes quite difficult to find a book to read. Aside from that problem the system is quite good. But, there are other cons to having this system of organizing.

[Genrefication Cons]

Another con to having this system is books by the same author can be placed in different sections, making it rather hard to find the book you might be looking for. This con really stands out especially because the library’s online server does not tell you which genre to look in for the said book.

Difficulties to assigning a book to a certain genre can be another big con to this library system. Because one person might think it belongs in one genre, for example horror, whereas another might say it belongs in a different genre category, like action. This can make it hard to find a book for some people.

Lastly, students might stay within one genre. This is a big con to the system. The point of going to a library to find a book that might be out of your genre range. And by having it placed by genre can make a person not want to explore other categories.

But, as I said before this can be a very beneficial system, it does have many pros.

[Genrefication Pros]

Genrefication can develop their sense of self as a reader. This meaning they can find that genre they like and be able to walk to the category and easily find a book they enjoy to read. “We did it for easy use for students. It gives them more independence,” Dupre said.

Another pro is it gives them the strategy to find reading material they like. As I said earlier this is very beneficial because when a person can find a genre they prefer it can make them feel more in control of what they read.

There are more pros for this system that make having it so much more enjoyable. But, as I said earlier, im not a fan of it. But who knows, maybe many students enjoy the new system.

Either way, I look forward to seeing the future with this new layout.