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Classroom Library Tips: Choosing the Right Books for Your Elementary Classroom Library


One of the most magical places in any classroom is the library corner, where imaginations take flight, and lifelong readers are born. As educators, curating a collection of books for your classroom library is a task that requires thoughtful consideration. After all, the books you choose can shape the reading experiences and preferences of your students for years to come. So, how do you go about selecting the right books for your classroom library? Here are some classroom library tips to help guide you through the process:

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Classroom Library Tip #1: Know Your Audience

Understanding the interests, reading levels, and cultural backgrounds of your students is key to selecting books that will resonate with them. Consider the diverse needs and preferences of your classroom community when choosing books.

At the beginning of the year, I give my students a reading interest survey so I can see what kinds of books they read, what they like, and what their reading habits are. The survey helps me to guide them towards books I think would be a “good fit” during the year. I have a reading interest survey right here if you’re looking to implement this in your own classroom.

The image shows a reading interview for students on a green paper backing.

Classroom Library Tip #2: Diversify Your Collection

Aim for inclusivity and representation in your classroom library. Include books that feature characters from various racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as books that explore different family structures, abilities, and experiences. A diverse collection not only reflects the real world but also fosters empathy and understanding among students. A great resource for diverse books is The Conscious Kid website. There are book lists, read-alouds, resources, and so much more! You can check out the website here.

Classroom Library Tip #3: Consider Reading Levels

Stock your classroom library with books that span a range of reading levels to accommodate the diverse needs and abilities of your students. Include high-interest, low-reading-level books for struggling readers, as well as more challenging texts for advanced readers. This ensures that every student has access to books that are both engaging and appropriately challenging.

Classroom Library Tip #4: Choose High-Quality Literature

Look for books that are well-written, engaging, and age-appropriate. Consider award-winning titles, classic children’s literature, and books recommended by reputable sources such as educators, librarians, and book reviewers. Quality literature not only draws readers in but also promotes critical thinking, vocabulary development, and literary appreciation.

Classroom Library Tip #5: Balance Book Genres

A well-rounded classroom library includes a mix of different genre books. Fictional stories ignite imaginations and foster a love for storytelling, while nonfiction books provide opportunities for exploration, inquiry, and learning about the world. Incorporate a variety of genres, topics, and formats to appeal to different interests and learning styles.

Encourage your students to read different genres with these free genre trackers. You can read all about tips for encouraging students to read different genres here.

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    Classroom Library Tip #6: Seek Student Input

    Involve your students in the book selection process by soliciting their input and preferences. Consider conducting book talks, surveys, or classroom discussions to gather insights into their reading interests and recommendations. Empowering students to have a voice in selecting books for the classroom library promotes ownership and enthusiasm for reading.

    Classroom Library Tip #7: Stay Current

    Keep your classroom library fresh and up-to-date by regularly adding new titles and rotating books to reflect seasonal themes, classroom units, and student interests. Stay informed about new releases, trends in children’s literature, and relevant topics that resonate with your students. A dynamic and evolving library ensures that there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

    I hope you enjoyed these classroom library tips. Building the perfect classroom library is a labor of love that requires patience, dedication, and a commitment to fostering a lifelong love of reading in your students.


    My name is Jen and I’m the face behind Endeavors in Education.

    I have a passion for ELA and science. I am even STEM certified. Now I spend my time hanging with my kids, blogging (endeavorsined.com), and creating for my TpT store Endeavors in Education.

    I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!

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