Most people coming into my library have no idea what they are looking for. Many students coming in with their class are required to pick a book for an assignment. Most don't consider themselves readers and struggle to name a book they would recommend to a friend. How do I help these kids find books? Genres! (And lots of questions).
I did book talks at the start of the year and it quickly became clear that students needed some way to browse books. Thinking about the way many websites are set up, it makes sense. We are being trained to browse in a certain way. When I book talked I pulled books from the shelves and labeled tables with genres and most students picked books from those tables. It was a lot of work to pull the books and reshelve them so I quickly started researching how to get started genrefying.
There are a few resources I have used so far. Follett has a Genre Helper report that looks at your collection to help decide what genre it might be. They have other services you can use too. I also looked at Mackin Genre services to see what they had to offer. I am starting slowly, I picked the most requested categories (Historical, Mystery/Thriller, and Sports) and started labeling them. I was lucky enough to have some help with this from the life skills class in my school so I have gotten quite a bit done before the end of school.
There is so much more work to be done but every little bit helps! I will keep going next year and eventually get everything labeled and at some point shelve the genres together! The real test will be when students start looking for books next year.