Library Genrefication

Lana Johnson and Charlise Lin

Terra Linda High School’s library has introduced a new system called genrefication. Terra Linda’s Head Librarian, Kendra Rose, along with volunteers and the library’s TA’s initiated the process; the new system will allow students to choose books to read more easily and without the hassle of a conventional library. “The genre is the type of book,” Rose said. In simpler terms, genrefication is a modern system where books are sorted into specific genres–a more logical system to follow that sorts books by a readers’ interest. 

There are many things that led to this change, one of them being the Dewey Decimal System. The Dewey Decimal System is what the library was originally organized in. The system is when books are categorized by subject and listed alphabetically by author’s last name, one of the most common library organization systems. Terra Linda English Teacher, Mackenzie Bedford mentions, ”I don’t think anyone really understands the Dewey Decimal System who’s not a librarian.” This has created a movement in the library community that librarians call “Ditching the Dewey.”

The library genrefication was said to be a lengthy process. Terra Linda Library Council Member, Emma Onstott, who was involved in the genrefying process told us, “In the library we took books off the shelves and googled the book’s genres and we got to put stickers on the books.” Rose explains that the books she dealt with needed to be weeded out for a couple of reasons. Rose commented that the system can be “offensive.” Dewey put books that related to LGBTQIA+ in subjects such as mental health. He also believed religions that people of African descent studied were not as important as Germanic religions so they’re not in their own subject.  As said in ‘Racism in the Dewey Decimal System’ 

Bedford explained that most readers, including herself, selected books based off genre and not by a particular author. This system has created an opportunity for readers to have an easier time finding books. TL junior, Oliva Brewster, noticed there was a change in how the books were organized. Brewster prefers the new system due to how easy it is to find what you want to read. According to the Terra Linda Library newsletter, there has been a 50% increase in books checked out this year with 2,550 checkouts. Additionally, e-books and audiobooks had a total of 173 checkouts last year.