This term the library staff –  Lisa and, Linley and Lyn are getting into a bit of genrefying! (New word) Have we gone mad? Maybe and by the time that we have finished reorganising every single book in the library – we will probably agree.

So what is it? Quite simply it is the organisation of the books in the library as if it is a bookshop. This is nothing new, many librarians have thrown out the Dewey Decimal system and taken their books into their own hands and organised them according to the needs of their customers.

In our case this is the BOYS. Over the last two years we have had a dwindling number of books being checked out. This could be for a multitude of reasons, laptops, eBooks and many boys buy their own. However, I am not one to sit back and let reading suffer. After all, not only is the library the very centre of the universe, what are we if we cannot read?

Reading is important, because if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. —Tomie dePaola

The first step was to decide on the genres. Taking the initiative, I asked a few boys to name where afew favourites should go like the Cherub series and all they could suggest was YA literature. I did point out that YA took in roughly 60% of the books in the library so wasn’t much use. So I hopped online and looked at list after list – all slightly different. I immediately struck Chick Lit off the list, followed quickly by Diaries – as I really couldn’t see boys asking me for a ‘diary’ to read. Family and Relationships was equally unpopular and I didn’t much care for Paranormal Romance! Several weeks later we managed to collate a list of genres that suits our readers using terms such as Realistic Fiction and Adventure. Crime has been separated from Thriller as we have so many and we also decided on Mystery as a must have.

The library also has so many Fantasy novels that we have become super geeky and now have High Fantasy and Light Fantasy, followed by Mythology.

So, we have almost completed our first section and we are rather proud of it.


No doubt we will have missed a few and it was really hard work; they    all had to be re-categorised on the computer and re-labelled. And trying  to decide what fitted into the genre was at times impossible. I started on  Classics to day and that was super easy in comparison. It will get easier  and easier as we will end up with less and less to chose from!

We decided to do it bit by bit so that the boys can watch our progress  and maybe even become involved…


I believe it will work. No boy ever comes into the library and says can I have a book by such and such – unless they are in the middle of a series. Generally, they wander around the shelves looking for a book that is a bit like the last book that they read – as they enjoyed that one. So Christ’s College library is now becoming a bookshop – boy centred, as it always should have been.

Lisa Trundley-Banks