Library switches genres


tiger paw photo

OHS Library reorganizes their genres. Here, Science Fiction and Fantasy are combined, but soon, they will have their own section thanks to efforts of the librarians at Mehlville High School.

Libraries in the Mehlville School District have had the same genres for as long as we can remember. But new book shipments happen every semester, making it a lot harder for students to find books that they like. 

This year two new librarians at Mehlville High School (MHS) decided to split some of their schools’ genres, which sparked an idea here. Kathy Hayes, Librarian at OHS, and Chelsea Pulley, Library Media Specialist for OHS, had both started to notice the Fantasy and Mystery genres were growing out of control with all of the horror, mystery, science fiction, and fantasy books coming in. 

“Not everyone who likes mystery likes horror, and not everyone who likes fantasy likes science fiction,” Pulley said. They started to think about separating these genres in hopes to help students find the books that they like, find them quicker, and allow them to have more ownership in their library. 

The growing genres helped lead to the final conclusion of splitting Fantasy into Fantasy and Science Fiction and splitting Mystery into Mystery and Horror genres. The last time any genres were split at OHS was when the Gateway Nominees were separated out from regular books. 

“When I was doing my practicum for library science we found it significantly boosted circulation because kids could go in and have autonomy and be more independent in finding a book,” Pulley said. 

Currently, both Hayes and Pulley are splitting these genres all by themselves. It is a long process because they have to pull out every individual book, change it in the catalog, and change it’s designated sticker. They hope to finish in a couple of months, but it will definitely be done by the end of the 2019-2020 school year. 

“We’re going to have to shift all of the books and we’re hoping to get another shelf in our fantasy section,” Said Pulley. Essentially, current books and shelves will be shifted and placed into alphabetical order again.