Item Attributes - Genre


Genre is defined as: "a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content"; it is generally applied to works of fiction to indicate what the given work is.

In OWWL copy records, we use Genre a little more loosely, describing fiction, videos, or other relevant materials.

Genre is used in conjunction with the Reports Shelflist By Shelf Location report to provide statistical and collection analysis information about your materials.

Genre is OPTIONAL; if your library does not use genre terms, select NOT APPLICABLE for this field. If your library does use genre, use it consistently!

Genre list and definitions

This is an evolving list! If you think something could be added, send a request to

Value Definition
Adventure A work in which action is the key element, overshadowing characters, theme and setting
Big Book Large scale children's books, used for story hour programs
Board Book Board books
Biography A detailed description or account of a person's life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject's personality
Classic A work that stands the test of time and merits lasting recofgnition
Easy Reader Beginner's reading level books
Drama A work usually involving serious or intense conflicts, emotions, or events
Comedy A work intended to amuse
Documentary A nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record
Dystopian A work that explores social and political structures of a horrible or degraded society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion
Folk & Fairy tale A work that typicaly features characters such as fairies, elves, witches, etc, employing magic or enchantments
Fantasy A work that uses magic and other supernatural elements as the main focus of plot, theme, and/or setting
Graphic A work composed of sequential drawings arranged in interrelated panels to form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions
Historical A work in which the plot and story transpire during a distinct era in the past
Holiday A work related to a specific holiday or special occasion
Horror A work in which the intent is to horrify the protagonist and in so doing scare the reader
Inspirational A work that telsl the stories of people overcoming adversity, or reaching new levels of understanding, through their own efforts or through the help of a higher power
Instructional A work in which the intent is to instruct the reader/viewer in some practical skill
Kit, Activity Collections of materials intended for hands-on play
Kit, Educational Collections of materials inteded to support learning
Large Print Books printed with large type
LGBTQ A work that focus on characters and themes in the lesbian, gay, transgender, and questioning community
Literacy Materials that support reading and writing skills
Musical A film in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing
Mystery A work in which the focus is on the process of solving a crime, rather than the details of the crime itself
Not Applicable  
Paranormal A work involving elements of the paranormal, such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, and any sort of magical or otherworldly creatures
Picture Book Combines visual and verbal narratives in a book format, most often aimed at young children
Poetry A work which uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the superficial or prosaic meaning
Realistic A work set in modern times that focus on realistic events, characters, and settings
Romance A work in which a love interest between the main protagonists drives the narrative
Science fiction A work incorporating various types of science into its story, settings, characters, and the challenges that they must overcome; scientific details contribute to the contextual storyline as well as the world created within the novel
Short Story A work of short-length fiction
Sports A work that uses sports and athletics as the main focus of the plot, theme, or setting
Thriller / Suspense A work in which the central conflict focuses on an urgent sense of imminent jeopardy impacting the protagonist, his or her loved ones, or even the whole world
Urban fiction A work which usually features characters living in inner-city enclaves and involved in drug dealing, gang violence, and/or prostitution for the purposes of street survival or as a means of gaining wealth or idependance
Western A work set in the American West usually during the last half of the 19th century
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