Most libraries separate mysteries from other fiction titles. Some also pull out other genre – westerns, science fiction, historical fiction, romance, for example. There was a time when it was obvious if a title fit a particular genre, but that’s not so true any longer for many titles.
I recently read an article on the dilemma this is presenting for booksellers. They call it genre-bending and give examples of titles that feature time travel, mystery and historical fiction all in one. Where does such a title belong to catch the eye of a bookstore browser and hopefully lead to a sale? The article’s author wonders if we need extensive testing to determine the genetic genre makeup of some titles!
Libraries face the same situation. If we put the right book in the wrong place, the right reader won’t find it if they are browsing. Some librarians believe genre classifications are going the way of top hat or, to continue to be useful to readers, will need to be even further fragmented. This issue can be addressed through the library catalog when a title is given multiple subject headings, but many readers browse the shelves for a good book they don’t browse the catalog.
I don’t see KPL creating additional genre collections for fiction. However, our staff is always available to help readers find a good book in any specific or multiple genre category. Our staff have varied reading interests and we have reader advisory tools to help to.
Come visit soon. We’ll be glad to help you find a good book or just browse.
Books @ KPL