As a teacher, your classroom library is an essential resource for your students. It provides them with access to a wide variety of books that can help them develop their reading skills and foster a love for learning. However, without proper organization, your classroom library can quickly become a chaotic mess. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips for keeping your classroom library organized.
My students loved the classroom library! It was a nice place to choose their next read and lounge in the donated Yogibos and relax. I still miss those Yogibos. They felt like floating on air.
1. Categorize your books
The first step in organizing your classroom library is to categorize your books. You can do this by genre, author, subject, or any other method that makes sense to you and your students. By categorizing your novels, it becomes easier for students to find the books they want to read and for you to keep track of your inventory.
Your grade level may dictate how you categorize your books. For example, in fourth grade, I organized my library by genre but that wouldn’t work in a first-grade classroom. You could have a section with new additions to your library or seasonal books. Perhaps you might want to highlight some books that cover topics you are teaching.
2. Label your shelves
Once you’ve categorized your books, you’ll want to label your shelves. This makes it easier for students to find the books they want to read and for you to keep track of your inventory. You can use colored tape, labels, or sticky notes to label your shelves. Create a label for each of your categories. To keep it SUPER easy for my students I put a matching colored sticker on the spine of each book that corresponded with the label. It was easy for them to find where a book belonged and easy to see when a book was out of place.
3. Create a checkout system
To keep track of your inventory, you’ll want to create a checkout system. This can be as simple as having students sign out the books they want to read or as complex as using a digital system to keep track of who has borrowed what book. A checkout system can also help you identify which books are popular with your students and which ones are not.
Here are a few apps for library management. Keep in mind some may have fees while others are free.
- Libib – I use this with my own books. It is free. You can scan the books and create lists within the app. I like this for personal use to see which books I already own. I have bought duplicate books more times than I care to admit.
- Book Buddy
- Book Wizard by Scholastic – I used this when I was in the classroom for a little bit. It did the job just fine for what I needed.
4. Rotate your books
One way to keep your classroom library fresh is to rotate your books. You can do this by swapping out books every few weeks or by having a designated “new books” section where students can find the latest additions to your library. By rotating your books, you’ll keep your students engaged and interested in reading. If you are looking for ideas to get your students to read different genres make sure to read this blog post.
I touched on this in the first idea. Rotating books is a great way to keep your library fresh. I did Scholastic Book Clubs and would order some new books for the classroom from time to time. I often highlighted these books when they came and would rotate newer books in for older books.
5. Keep it clean
Finally, it’s important to keep your classroom library clean. This means dusting your shelves, wiping down your books, and ensuring everything is in its proper place. A clean and organized library will not only look better, but it will also be more inviting to your students. My students loved to help keep the library clean!
In conclusion, keeping your classroom library organized is an essential part of promoting a love for learning and developing reading skills. By categorizing your books, labeling your shelves, creating a checkout system, rotating your books, and keeping everything clean, you’ll ensure that your classroom library is a valuable resource for your students.