My biggest project this summer? My library!!! I was a book hoarder long before I became a teacher. Once I started teaching it just got worse. If there are books left in the lounge I always look through them (still!) I have moved into rooms where the teacher before me left everything, and I rarely get rid of any of it (if it's a book). LONG story SHORT....I have a ton of books!
There are many ways to organize your books. Believe me...I've tried them all! There are a few key details that you need to keep in mind if you are getting your library ready for littles. I (think) I have figured out everything you need to know to have a perfect library.
How do I organize my books?
There are quite a few options, depending on your preference:
1. Fiction/Nonfiction tubs organized by subject, author, and/or characters.
2. Reading Level (if you use AR or another system like it, you may be required to organize your library this way).
3. By subject/author/characters
Once you start organizing you need A LOT OF SPACE! Start sorting your books by subject (or level, or nonfiction/fiction) to see what you have. This is a tiny part of my collection....
The first time I had to sort through all my books I had them in every part of my classroom. All 4 of my tables were filled and the floor too! If you don't know what subjects you have you can't move forward. I made the mistake of labeling my book boxes first one year (just from memory) thinking I KNEW what books I had. Guess what? I didn't know! I had book boxes with a million books in them and others that were empty. My kiddos couldn't find what they wanted because I didn't label them with them in mind. Now I know better!
I organized my library by subject because my kiddos have all different interests. I've tried all different ways but this is the best I've found. They shop by interest at this point so I have all different levels of books in every bin. As a matter of fact, I don't even pay attention to level when putting books in bins (or grabbing them from the "free" pile). Every book is readable at this point. We learn right away in kinder we can read the picture, the words, or retell the story. My really high level nonfiction books are the favorites in the classroom!
Labels have 2 different purposes. One....to attract the reader. You like bats? We've got bats! And there is an awesome little picture of a bat just in case you can't read the word BAT!
Two....we need a way to make sure we know where to put them when we are done! They might not realize that the BAT book belongs in the BAT bin when they are done with it next week. In the past I have put stickers in side each book to make sure kiddos knew where to put the book when they were done with it. It took FOR.E.VER to put all those little stickers in and every time I got a new book I had to find the file, print a new label, find the book, stick the sticker........you get the picture. It was a pain.
This year I labeled my library by interest with adorable pictures so my kiddos can find the books they want. I added a NUMBER STICKER in a color code so they can find the bin and put it back! No more Mrs.Langley putting back all the books on her own after they leave for the day. (Yay!) I have green, red, and blue bins in my room and all they have to do is look inside their book, find the number (and the color) and put it in the right bin. All I have to do is put a little number inside each book (with a colored sharpie). No more printing out labels and sticking stickers inside books. Hooray!
THAT's what I did today. All day....organizing and labeling! It is such a great feeling knowing that my library is ready (minus 4 bins.....I have to find a way to find 4 large green bins otherwise my OCD will distract me). Here is a little video I took of my library. The last tip I have for you is to spread your books out throughout the classroom so all your kiddos are not on top of each other when they shop for books.
I should have played music or something....sorry, I'm a video newbie. I'm trying to get the nerve up to post on Periscope. Not a big fan of being in front of the camera!
If you are interested in my new labels I have them available in my store HERE. There are square and circle labels in the product. I am very open to adding subjects if you need them, I tried to cover all the bases but you may have an awesome collection of books on something I don't have I can add it.
Thanks for stopping by today for some library organization tips. Do you have any tips to share?