News Releases

APRIL 3, 2018

Follett Forms Advisory Board to Help K-12 Schools Genrefy Libraries

Members Will Establish Set of Genre Standards, Useful Strategies as School Libraries Continue Transition from Dewey Decimal System

MCHENRY, IL – A new advisory board has been formed by Follett to help K-12 school libraries make the transition from the Dewey Decimal System to a more student friendly, bookstore-like layout based on genres. The Genrefication Advisory Board, comprised of nearly 20 national and international librarians and media specialists, will meet for the first time this week at the 2018 Texas Library Association (TLA) Annual Conference in Dallas to help establish a set of genre standards.

“We often hear from customers they’re committed to the genrefication process, but understandably don’t have the time to choose the individual categories for their fiction and nonfiction books,” said Nader Qaimari, President, Follett School Solutions. “As a longtime educational partner, Follett is eager to help our customers but want to hear from them, the experts, as to how the genre categories and subcategories should be selected. We will get recommendations on how far to break down large categories such as history, literature, science, sports, and many others.”

One board member who sees tremendous value in the genrefication process is Fran Glick of Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) in Maryland, which was named National School Library Program of the Year for 2017 by the American Association of School Librarians.

“At BCPS, we are committed to creating learner-centered school libraries and have found genrefication to be a significant strategy in meeting that objective,” said Glick, coordinator of library media programs and digital resources. “Our student response to ease of access, intuitive discovery, and thematic organization has been evidenced by increased circulation and engagement in reading.”

Qaimari said once the board agrees to a new set of genre standards, Follett will automatically assign them in Titlewave®, the company’s collection development and curriculum support tool that provides state-of-the-art search functioning capabilities. With the genre standards assigned, the books will essentially become “shelf-ready,” Qaimari noted, making the process dramatically easier and more time efficient for library staff.

Glick applauded Follett’s efforts to help librarians both in the U.S. and abroad as schools and districts move to genrefy their libraries.

“Follett’s leadership in this area is an example of its attention and responsiveness to meeting the needs of the changing school library,” she said. “Convening a board of experienced practitioners to guide this process and inform recommended models will enable schools to more readily make the shift from traditional organization to a genrefied model, secure in the knowledge that the voices in the field contributed to the recommendations.”

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