Thursday, May 2, 2013

My New Library

I’m a teacher. I love books. My students love books. We have lots of books in our classroom. For the past 5 years, I have fought the clutter that was our classroom library. Books were crowding the shelves, and all that was visible was the spines. Students had no idea what variety of books was available, and they constantly left books on the floor because it didn’t seem as though there was room to replace them on the shelves. But no more. After months of work, I can finally say that my new classroom library is organized!

I originally thought about using one of the fancy online resources to level my books and do a leveled library. That didn’t work because many of my books are too old to have a bar code, so I couldn’t scan them and would have to enter every bit of information by hand. My time is too scarce a commodity for that to be profitable.

So here is what I did do, with the help of some students and a teacher’s aid.

Step One:

I got rid of trash. The books that were incomplete all went out the door.

Step Two:

We repaired any books that needed to be mended.

Step Three:

I bought a BUNCH of baskets at the dollar store. They were two for a dollar, but it was worth the cost for the final product!

Step Four:

I printed these labels from Mrs. Freshwater’s Class. I personalized them with the following categories.

Biographies & Autobiographies   Classics               Fairy Tales & Legends 

Jokes & Poetry                          Mysteries             Quick Reads

Picture Books                            Faraway Lands     Animals

Historical Fiction                       Bible Books           Science

Science Picture Books               Newberry              Dogs & Cats

Teacher’s Favorites                   Horses                  Magazines

History                                     Chapter Books by Author alphabetically

Step Five:

Each basket was labeled with a sticker. We sorted the books by category and labeled each with the appropriate sticker. Now the students can easily replace each book in the correct basket with little effort.

Step Six:

One of my super organized 4th graders took the time to carefully fill each basket. Any extras that don’t fit in baskets are put away and I will rotate them throughout the year.

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So far, the students have done a great job of keeping books in the correct baskets. They say it is much easier to choose books because it is easier to see the covers. I have heard numerous comments about the “new” books they have discovered. How happy it makes my teacher’s heart to see them happily reading books that they never knew were right there in our reading corner!


  1. This is great! I love that you included the students in doing it, too. That's a great lesson in organization!

  2. Great job! I'm sure it was a lot of work but it looks like it was worth it.


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