Saturday, July 5, 2014

Classroom Library Organization - New and Improved!

Hi there!  I hope you are all having a restful summer!  I am busy tackling my very long summer list of things to do…

The biggest project so far has been a revamp of my classroom library and thanks to my awesome teammate, I think I have finally found a system that is going to work for me and my students.

Ok, so basically, I created categories for my books based on what type of books that I have the most of and gave each category a number.  So for example, I have a quite a few Care Bear books and Biscuit books, so I put them together in a basket.  I love the series My Weird School so I have collected about 15-20 of those, so I put them into a category!  I made a sign showing the category and number (12) for the basket and put a sticker on each book and wrote a number 12 on it the sticker.  

After I sorted out all my books, I ended up with 24 different categories!  Some of my categories are seasonal so I won't have to have them out until that season but at least they will be all sorted.  When students are done reading they will be able to find the basket with the correct number and put the book away.  

Having all my books in the correct baskets and categorized was a huge mental undertaking, then I got some help from a few middle school students to put stickers and number each of the books!  I am happy to report that the whole project is complete!  If my classroom wasn't being used by summer school, I would be able to put all the books back on the shelf and snap a picture of my beautiful new library system.

The next step in the whole class library step was to find a new library app to keep track of my books electronically.  I blogged about a great free app back in January '13, call BooksApp.  Sadly, that app is no longer available in the iTunes store.  So, I started searching for a new app to use as my electronic database.   The two that I like the best are iBookshelf and Book Crawler.  They both have a free version for to try but have limitations on them so if you have more than 50 books you might want to just get the $1.99 versions of the apps.  I downloaded the free versions of both so I could try out the scanner option of them and then I wanted to see what other options I had once I had my books scanned.  Both iBookshelf and Book Crawler had good scanners that worked well using my iPhone!  iBookshelf was pretty cool because you have the option of scanning multiple books at a time which seems to make the process go faster.  I have decided to use Book Crawler because I liked that it gave me fields that I could edit myself.  So, I was able to add my category and book bin number right into the record (as you can see in my picture below).

So, what kind of system of organization do you use for your class library?  Please let me know especially if you have tried this numbered category system, I really want to know how it has worked in your classroom!!


  1. I do something very similar. The bins are in abc order on the shelves. I don't have all my books out at once and it is easy to add a new one into the mix. I use clear pockets with an insert on the front for labeling the tubs.

  2. Thanks for the app shares. I'm looking at apps that will help me keep track of the books kids are taking home. Will check these out!
    Mrs. Samuelson's Swamp Frogs

  3. This is great, I am going to try out the apps. I was wondering do you know if you can export the apps so you can keep them on the computer? Thanks

  4. Thank you so much for this helpful tip! I found a pin on Pinterest about your blog and this is such a great idea I have a ton of books and this will be so easy for doing lesson plans!