For those of you that I know via Twitter, many of you will be aware that I have been busy these holidays genrefying (genre-fying?) our Junior Fiction collection.
One of the benefits of genrefication is that it is an immediate ‘visual stocktake’ of any genre in our collection. The visual reality has had far more impact on my collection development ideas than any list I have generated in our Library Management System.
When I saw the huge volume of Fantasy which took up 1/3 of our available shelving I was not surprised (but a little overwhelmed) at the imbalance… but I was jaw-droppingly shocked when I saw the subsection of realistic fiction that we have for sports fiction. It was small – I mean ‘less than half a shelf’ small.
I was jaw-droppingly shocked when I saw the subsection of realistic fiction that we have for sports fiction. It was small – I mean less than half a shelf small.
Even taking into account the titles that are written for younger readers, those that are still on loan, and those that are in a different section, I was ashamed that this was an area where we have demand and yet we are obviously and glaringly under-resourced. We have purchased a range of titles via our OverDrive ebook collection, which supplement our print collection in this area, but these aren’t immediately visible to students. It is possible to add a curated genre collection in OverDrive and this was an immediate quick fix, so I did this first.
Sports fiction will be my first priority for fiction collection development in Term 1. I will be seeking out the best books and series that we don’t already own and purchase them. I’ll also be looking at how we can aid discovery of the ebook sports fiction titles we own so that users browsing the physical collection are aware of the digital titles too. The popular dyslexia friendly titles we have by Tom Palmer and Alan Gibbons and published by the excellent Barrington Stoke, have already been moved to the sports fiction section, as well as the Jake Maddox series – effectively placing as many titles as possible into one browsing area (the object of genrefying after all, is to make things easier to find and more discoverable for students).
The sports fiction shelf is now closer to one full shelf – but we still have a long way to go!
We have been reclassifying our non-fiction and the sports books have been resorted nicely, however I’m wondering if there is some way I can put the non-fiction books and fiction together. It’s pretty hard with the mix of shelving and layout we have – that might be something I work towards in collaboration with the kids.
Here is a list of the sports of interest to our students in order of popularity (based on requests for books):
- Football (Soccer in the USA)
Not so popular (books aren’t asked for, but many kids are involved in these sports):
- Rugby League
Sports not widely played (if at all) in NZ:
- American Football
- Aussie Rules footy
I want to test out whether students who love sports will read ‘outside their own code’. If this is the case then there would be an argument for stocking more titles from codes not played here – especially well written and highly regarded books about baseball and American Football.
I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and providing a more diverse selection of reads in this area. The kids who want to read sports books are often the kids who say they ‘hate reading’ (at least in my school community). These readers (however dormant at the moment) deserve a bigger share of the collection ‘pie’ and a bigger voice in selecting the titles we provide.
Related posts: Scrum by Tom Palmer