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Classroom Library Organization

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Organizing a classroom library can be a daunting task. Here's a collection of tips/suggestions to help get your classroom books organized.
Classroom Library
Posted by:Erin #79638

Every year, I have the students sort the books. They sort them in any way that they deem purposeful. With my first graders, we had categories like true animal books, animal stories, fact books, community helpers, ABC books, 123 books, fairy tales, Clifford, Amelia Bedelia, etc. We had about 15 to 20 categories. I labeled the categories just what they decided. Then we put a sticker on each books to show the category. (ie purple smiley face for true animal books, green for community helpers). This helped the students put the books back in the right place. During the school year when I got new books we would add the books to the categories we already had. The students as they learned more about genre and books changed the names of some of the categories, for example the true books about animals basket became expository animal books (non-fiction)....

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organizing classroom books
Posted by:Joanne #78230

I keep my books in baskets labeled easy, medium, hard, chapter books, looking books(which are joke books, puzzlemania books, highlights,literary magazines, picture books), AR books. I explain this to them at the beginning of the year by using a bike riding analogy- Sometimes we want to go fast (so they might select an easy book, or a looking book) sometimes we ride up a small hill (medium books or easy chapter books) and sometimes we really want a challenge and go up a big hill (they choose a hard book or a longer chapter book). They really like this analogy. I also have a "special book basket" that I change monthly. This would be any holiday books, author study books, or anything related to what we are studying in science or social studies. After many years of trying different things, this has worked the best for me.

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Library Organization
Posted by:Gloria #78478

After my first year of teaching, I had about 200 books not returned to my personal library so I spent the summer making each book a library book. From the teacher's store, I bought small library envelopes and check out cards (I had a parent who helped me to do this). Each book was checked out with a name. I also had a special box that all books needed to be returned in. I checked them in with my initials or a parents initials. In the beginning of the year, I send home a letter to the parents stating that if their child would like to use my library, they were allowed to. However, any book not returned or ruined would need to be replaced for $5.00 for paperbacks or $10.00 for hardbacks or they could buy a new book. The thing that made this happen is that I would not...

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library organization
Posted by:fiona #29889

First, thanks to all who have replied to this question- I am in the process of organizing my library (again) and am finding some helpful hints. I have organized my books as many of you are in bins by type fairy tales, mysteries, by author etc.. To facilitate the children putting them back in the right spot (a very bif case of wishful thinking!) I have purchased icon stickers from the DEMCO catalog that our school librarian purchases her icons from. This catolog has all of the library materials(pockets etc..) you need. You can look online at the catalog, but all of the icons I purchased are not pictured on their site. These are the labels that go on the spines of books with pictures- ex: the biography sticker has a siouhette of Abe Lincoln. This has cost me about $60.00 for about 20...

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My library...
Posted by:Laura #58343

I will be a first year 4th grade next year and I spent about a week organizing my library. I have accumulated well over 500 books for my classroom library. My school does AR, but I am not so lucky to have the library buy those cute AR stickers.

So, what I did was go to my local Family Dollar store and they sell incentive stickers. From the front, they look like larger stickers but inside each pack are a ton of small incentive stickers. I think there are 500 stickers for $1. Then I broke up the levels into ranges, say 4.0-4.5 would be a purple star. Then I just went through each book and labeled them on the bottom of the spine. I also bought clear address label and put these over the small sticker. This way (hopefully) they will never come off....

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I agree... simple is best.
Posted by:iluv3rd #122537

Books kept at school are stored in individual book boxes. We practice how to return books to the right basket or put in the "I don't know where this book goes" basket if unsure. I've used paint stirrers and large "library" cards to mark spots in baskets but found this didn't help much.

My kids are required (by me) to take a book home each night. They slip their take home books in a pocket of large pocket chart (27 spots with a place to label each slot). They get their books from the chart at the end of each day. In the morning, they return the book to their slot. If they forget their book, they turn the label on their pocket so their number doesn't show. I can tell at a glance who still has a book at home. These kids aren't allowed to take home another book till the...

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Library Organization
Posted by:JLH #46981

I have fought with this myself, and just spent a lot of time organizing my classroom library, too. I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but here's what I did. I divided all my books up by category (dinosaur books, favorite authors, Magic Tree House books, etc). I bought plastic baskets ($1.00/2 at local dollar store) and put the books in the baskets. I made up labels on my computer stating what kind of books each basket holds. I like to rotate my books, so those that are not being put out right away I put into large, labeled envelopes and stored in a big bin. They will be easy to exchange when I'm ready to rotate. While I was doing this I also leveled and coded some of the books so that I can steer the kids towards some "just right" books. These are just mixed...

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Re: organizing classroom library
Posted by:dolmansaxlil #127570

I teach 8th, but I've done a lot of reading about how to set up classroom libraries (my library is a bit of an obsession). One of the things that I read really hit home with me. Bookstores such as B&N and Borders pay marketing and research types to figure out how to get people to buy books. I worked at a similar store here and Canada, and it's amazing how much psychology went into it. The book I read talked about going into those large bookstores and seeing how they are laid out, and then using those ideas in your classroom. Since I worked in one (and did merchandising for them for a time) I came up with my own list of things bookstores do that successfully get people's cash out of their pockets:

Have displays with front facing books
Group books by subject

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Shipping Labels
Posted by:RKM #115156

I organized my library this summer also in bins. I used the big shipping labels and printed the category on the label with a picture and stuck it on the bin. So, for my Arthur books - it has a picture of Arthur and says "Arthur Books" on the label. I am attaching an example.

The shipping labels are Avery #5164 - the size is 3 1/3" x 4".

Good luck!
RKM :s)

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book organization
Posted by:j #22593

I have a system that works well for me. First, my wonderful hubby made me a huge shelving unit that spans the back wall of my garage at home. (Space wont allow for me to keep them at school , plus I want them at home for my own kids to enjoy!) I organized my books by themes I teach ie.. dinosaurs,seasons, colors,transportation or type of book ie.. alphabet books, number books, wordless picture books.. Some by author if the book didn't have a home in any of my other categories ie.. Dr. Suess books, Eric Carle books.. I divide them in the bookcase using file folders as spacers. I write the category on the tab and then place all of the books behind that folder. It has been a great system for me. Each week, i just pull the section of books I need, leaving the folder in place to mark its...

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Book Codes
Posted by:popcorn #124159

I have three different codes on each book--the one at the bottom of the spine has a color dot to indicate it is from my classroom, one at the top indicates the genre or unit/theme collection, and one on the back cover that indicates the Fountas and Pinnell level. My baskets are labeled variously for favorites such as Henry and Mudge, Horrible Harry, etc, authors, unit collections, biography, general fiction for picture books leveled, science, general nonfiction, animal nonfiction, poetry, reference, in addition to the F and P levels.

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I have LOTS of books...
Posted by:iluv3rd #135447

So many that I keep 3-4 cartons full at home because they are inappropriate for my current grade level (3)... either too easy or too grown up.

My fiction books are in baskets with labels as mentioned above... some by series, author, content, genre (i.e. Girls as Main Characters, Books About School, mysteries, poetry, tall tales, historical fiction, classics, books for partners (at least 2 copies of each title), etc. My non-fiction library is by subject. I also have magazines and picture books. The picture books are mostly separated by subject (books with animals as main characters, holidays, etc.).

I spend a lot of time putting colored stickers on many of my books last year when my students just couldn't select good fit books on their own. Only a few beginning chapter books are actually separated...

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book baskets
Posted by:Jen #48097

I organize my books into 6 baskets by readability level. Each basket has a picture on the front (apple, leaf, pumpkin, snowman, heart, and hot air balloon). These pictures represent months of the school year (apple=Sept.; snowman=Jan. etc.) The easiest books go in the apple basket and get progressively harder with the most difficult books in the hot air balloon basket. I organize them using pictures instead of letters or numbers because the kids can't make fun of others for reading on a lower level. On the inside cover of each book, I put a sticker to match the picture on the front of the basket.(the small stickers used for incentive charts work well and they are pretty cheap) Then the students can place the books back in the right basket and you don't have to spend time reorganizing. I hope I explained it in enough...

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Book Categories
Posted by:Jaela #59674

I have my books in baskets according to some of the following categories in my second grade:

Chapter Books
Seasons and Holidays
Animal Books (Fiction)
Animal Books (Non-Fiction)
Places and Cultures
Misc. Fiction
Misc. Non-Fiction
and Favorites. This is where I put my books that I love to read aloud. This is probably the most popular of all my baskets! My kids love rereading books that I read aloud!

PS- A tip that I learned on this site last year that has really helped with management...

I put each child's name on a clothespin Put all their clothespins in a basket. When my kids picked a book, they left their pin on the basket. When they go to return their book, if they've forgotten what basket the book was in,...

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