The Ultimate Teacher's Guide to Organizing a Classroom Library (2023)

Okay. Confession time. I LOVE books. I mean, I really, really, really love books. And stocking my classroom with quality books for my classroom is incredibly important to me. But what do you do with all of those books? How do you organize them so your students can find them and utilize your library? I’m going to share exactly how to organize your classroom library so it’s functional and easy to manage.

Watch my Facebook Live on this topic here.

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Step 1. Getting Started

The first thing you’ll need is, well, books! Don’t have a lot of books? Let me give you a really great tip.

Two words: Yard. Sales. It’s almost yard sale season, and they are the perfect place to score boxes of books for really, really cheap.

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Now I have a classroom library with thousands of books. I have purchased 90% of them at yard sales, and the best strategy I’ve found is this. Scope out your local papers for yard sales each Friday night (most papers have an online yard sale section so you don’t even have to buy the paper). If there is a town that is having a town wide yard, you’ll definitely want to check it out. Normally there are so many people participating that people are willing to sell for cheap. If there’s not, look for clusters of yard sales so you’re not driving all over the place.

When you’re driving or walking around, look for people that have at least a box or two of books. If they only have a few books, they’ll probably expect too much for them. You want to find people either without price tags or who are asking 50 cents or less per book.

Look through what they have. If you’re interested in around 50% of the books, here’s what you do.

First, tell them you’re a teacher (seriously it works ;)) then say this “I’m trying to build my classroom library, so would you give me a deal if I buy all of your books?” 🙂 Normally they’re pretty excited. After all, you’re taking a ton of “junk” off of their hands. Wait for them to throw out a number, offer them a few dollars less, and bam. You just got a fabulous deal. I try to pay about $5 a box, but it depends on the quality and condition of the books.

Don’t worry if there are some old, gross, or weird books you don’t want. Just take them too. By buying all of them, you are more likely to get a better deal and save a ton of $. You can recycle or giveaway any books you aren’t interested in or you could pick a few of them as example books when you teach your students how to handle books. Discuss if they would want to read a book that looked like that, and then go into a dialog about to to treat books nicely. 🙂

Step 2. Organize

Now that you have your books, you can move on to step two, organizing your books. Think about what categories make sense for your classroom and the number of books you have. The greater number of books, the more categories you’ll need. I broke my books up into about 20 general categories to start.

(Video) How I Organize My Classroom Library | FULL TUTORIAL

General Fiction

Realistic Fiction


Dr. Seuss

Favorite Series


Fairy and Folk Tales

Morals and Lessons

Chapter Books

Poetry Art and Jokes

Phonics and Words

Leveled Readers


(Video) CLASSROOM PREP | Organize my classroom library with me!


Careers and Health



General Non-Fiction

A few of those categories are broken down even further. For example, all of my science books couldn’t fit in one basket, so I have Science-animals, Science-weather, etc.

If you aren’t sure what category to put a book in, Scholastic has a WONDERFUL Book Wizard Tool that I used. Just type in the title or author and it will give you a genre for the book.

Step 3. Keeping Track

After you have sorted your books into piles, you are ready to go to the next (and probably most important) step.Keeping track of your books. Now, this is the most tedious task, but I promise you, you won’t regret it. I recommend using excel, but you could also just make a word document. Make a spreadsheet for each category you came up with, and type in the title and author in alphabetical order. That way, when you want to know if you have a book about, say, the frog life cycle, instead of waiting to check when you get to school, you can just search your list on your computer.

Here is what mine looks like:

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You, of course, should do what would work for you, but I have found that this is a pretty handy system. I’ve also emailed this to my colleagues so instead of asking me if I have a specific book, they can look on here and then just ask to borrow it.

Step 4. Storage

(Video) Classroom Library Organization, Locations, & Places to Get Books!

Before you go any further, you need to think about how exactly you’re going to store your books. If you’ve done all of this work, it simply doesn’t make any sense to just set them on a bookshelf because within a week they’ll be completely out of order. My suggestion is to use plastic baskets or bins. The bins I have are pictured below. They are from The Dollar Tree, and you can order them online. You have to order them in bulk orders of 36, but they’re $1 each and pretty durable. Just make sure you don’t try to jam too many books in each one, which is a lesson I learned after I cracked one. :-X Click the picture below to check them out.

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Step 5. Label and Level

Now you’re ready for the part that actually feels like you’re getting something done! You are ready to label (and if you want to) level your books!

Remember those categories you used to sort your books into groups and entered in your excel spreadsheet? Well now they’re really going to come in handy. Take one category of books at a time. Let’s say you start with your general fiction books. I know I personally have hundreds of general fiction books, so they would never fit in one basket. I decided to split them up alphabetically by title into 4 baskets, so Fiction A-C was in one, Fiction D-J was in the second, Fiction K-P was in the third, and Fiction Q-Z was in the fourth.Obviously, it would depend on the books you have. You can clearly see that I had a lot of fiction books with titles starting with A-C, but not so many from Q-Z.

Now, You could easily label the books “Fiction A-C”, but I chose to give them abbreviations just in case I ever change that alphabetical range, so instead I gave each basket an abbreviation: “FIC 1”, “FIC 2”, “FIC 3”, and “FIC 4”. Here are what my labels look like.

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I just bought Avery return address labels and created them in word. If notice, all of the “FIC” labels are red. You also might notice you see “FAN” (fantasy) and RFIC (realistic fiction) labels are also red. All books that are Fiction have a red label. I color coded all of my labels to make it easier to identify the types of books. For examples, all of my non-fiction books are orange such as “NFIC” (general non-fiction) “S1″, S2”, “S1″, S2” (science 1,2,3,4), and “MA” (math). I would HIGHLY recommend color coding your labels as well. It makes it so easy for your students and for you to find and put back books.

As you’re sticking your label on each book, you might also want to use that Scholastic Book Wizard to write the level of your book inside the cover as well. You could also level them during step 3 when you’re typing them in your excel document.

After you’re done labeling your individual books, you will need labels for your book bins. Click the picture below to check out the editable book bin labels that you can purchase from my TpT store.

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Tip: I would suggest putting one of your little book labels on each basket label as well like the picture below. It makes it much easier for your students to know exactly which bin to put their books in.

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(Video) How I Organize My Classroom Library (The EASY Way!)

Step 6. Library Pockets and Cards

This last step is optional, but helps you really keep track of your books, so I would suggest taking the time to do it since you’ve already done all of this work. I would recommend putting a library pocket and card in the cover of each of your books. Why? It makes it so easy to see who has your book at any given time.

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I purchase my library pockets and library cards in bulk from TheLibraryStore, and I would highly recommend purchasing from them. They have the best prices by far, have a huge selection (from self-adhesive, to colorful, to regular pockets), and ship very quickly. These are the pockets and cards I have, and I love them.

I also love having library pockets in my books because it makes tracking who has what books for Daily 5 super easy. I just made a check out chart for my wall, and the card for the books each student currently has goes in their pocket. Here are the two charts I made to go with my classroom themes each year.

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After all of that work, this is what my completed library looked like.

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I should note, because I had such a huge number of books, it took me (almost) an entire summer to organize my library. Don’t worry if it takes you a while because once it’s completely organized, it’s wonderful! It’s also very easy to add new books to your collection using this system. Just sort, add it to your running excel sheet, level, label, add a library pocket, and put it in the correct basket. That’s it!

I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for people who are working on organizing their classroom libraries, leave a comment below.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure to like, comment, and share! And don’t forget to subscribe tomy newsletter for more ideas, tips, and freebies as well as access to my exclusive resource!

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(Video) CLASSROOM LIBRARY: Organization & Set Up | Made For Second Grade


How many books should you have in your classroom library? ›

There are different perspectives on the golden number of books for classroom libraries: The International Reading Association (2000) (now known as the International Literacy Association) recommends a minimum of 7 books per student. Fountas and Pinnell's (1996) research recommends between 300-600 books.

How do you maintain a library? ›

Proper Care of Library Books
  1. Do not leave books on shelves or carts with the foredge down. ...
  2. Leave books upright and firmly supported on shelf when shelving or retrieving. ...
  3. Do not allow books to protrude over the edges of the shelves. ...
  4. Never pull a book off the shelf by the headcap.

What should be in a classroom library? ›

A rich variety of genres is included in your classroom library so children are exposed to: realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction, biography and autobiography, stories, classics, myths and legends, picture books, reference, poetry, comic books and graphic novels, and more.

Why is it important to have a classroom library? ›

Classroom libraries are integral to successful teaching and learning. Extensive research has shown that students who have immediate and ongoing access to engaging books in their classrooms exhibit higher reading achievement, better comprehension and an increased vocabulary.

Should you level your classroom library? ›

Levels should be for teachers' eyes and knowledge only.

We all know it's important for teachers to assess students for their strengths and challenges. And reading levels can provide teachers with valuable data for informing instruction. However, that information should be considered privileged.

How a book list is prepared in a school? ›

At first,specimen copies are received from publishers. Then , the copy is read by subject teachers. After that, merit of books are assessed by them. Next, the books are sent to H.M. Now, the recommended books are placed before the academic council.

How do you borrow a book from your school library describe the process briefly? ›

How to borrow a book: Quick guide
  1. Carry out a library search. Is the item available? If not, click here to find out how to reserve an item. ...
  2. Locate on the shelves. Use library signage and floor plans to navigate your way around the library to find where items with the call number/classmark are located. ...
  3. Borrow the book.
6 Jul 2022

How do teachers organize books? ›

8 Classroom Book Organization Ideas for Teachers
  1. Label All of Your Read Alouds. ...
  2. Categorize Your Read Alouds. ...
  3. Use Organization Tools to Group Your Read Alouds. ...
  4. Utilize Color Coding. ...
  5. Use Clothes Pins or Clips. ...
  6. Create a Read Aloud Inventory. ...
  7. Catalog Your Read Aloud Books. ...
  8. Track Read Aloud Books that You Lend Out.

How do you organize classroom library for upper elementary? ›

How I Organize My Classroom Library | FULL TUTORIAL - YouTube

How do you store books in the classroom? ›

Use colorful book trays or even flexible bins to store books for your classroom library! Organize them by author, nonfiction, fiction, genre, or title. We love these bins created by Lessons with Laughter, which make it easy for students to browse and find the book they are looking for.

How would you maintain the library of your school? ›

How to manage the facilities of the school library?
  1. Organization. A well-organized resource is an essential facility that every library should focus on delivering their students. ...
  2. Workspace. ...
  3. Circulation desk. ...
  4. Library signs. ...
  5. Restroom. ...
  6. Safety measures. ...
  7. Smart technology. ...
  8. Necessary processes in place.
26 Feb 2020

How do you maintain discipline in a school library? ›

General Rules
  1. Strict silence, decorum and discipline must be maintained in the library. ...
  2. Smoking, eating, sleeping and talking loudly are strictly prohibited in the library.
  3. Documents taken out of the shelves must be left on the table.

What are the functions of library management? ›

The basic functions of library management include overseeing all library operations, managing the library budget, planning and negotiating the acquisition of materials, Interlibrary Loan [ILL] requests, stacks maintenance, over seeing fee collection, event planning, fundraising, and human resources.

What could you do to make classroom library more appealing? ›

10 Ways To Bring More Joy to Your Classroom Library (and Boost Literacy, Too!)
  1. Create a magical setting. ...
  2. Customize your collection. ...
  3. Make listening part of the experience. ...
  4. Promote diverse books. ...
  5. Keep it fresh. ...
  6. Immerse young readers in the narrative. ...
  7. Ramp up the excitement. ...
  8. Give your students a chance to shine.
19 Aug 2021

What are the characteristics of an engaging classroom library? ›

An effectively designed classroom library should support reading inside and outside of school, help students learn about how to select appropriate reading materials, and provide a place for students to read independently, as well as serve as a place to talk and discuss books.

How do you organize a classroom library 5th grade? ›

CLASSROOM LIBRARY Organization - YouTube

What are the importance of library to the teacher? ›

Library staff are expert in helping students find books that match their interests and reading levels. They can help teachers support student reading by: offering enticing reading promotions and reading-focused activities.

What is the importance of library? ›

As gateways to knowledge and culture, libraries play a fundamental role in society. The resources and services they offer create opportunities for learning, support literacy and education, and help shape the new ideas and perspectives that are central to a creative and innovative society.

What is the importance of class library for children? ›

A school library facilitates diverse life skills, thereby enhancing personal development in young children. It promotes curiosity, innovation, and critical thinking. It endorses desirable study habits in students. A library is truly integral to the teaching and learning processes.

What should you consider when you are leveling books for your classroom library? ›

In order to level your books by reading level, find out what reading program your school uses (DRA, Fountas and Pinnell, Lexile, Reading Recovery, etc.). If you're not sure, ask your grade level partners, another teacher, or your school's Reading Specialist.

What is library leveling? ›

A leveled library is an organized way to provide books to readers of a variety of abilities in a classroom. It creates a structure within the classroom that allows the teacher to easily choose books for individual children and small groups of students.

How do you structure a book? ›

You might choose the classic five-stage plot structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. You might also choose the three-act structure – setup, confrontation, resolution – familiar to screenwriters.

How can I start writing? ›

8 Great Ways to Start the Writing Process
  1. Start in the Middle. If you don't know where to start, don't bother deciding right now. ...
  2. Start Small and Build Up. ...
  3. Incentivize the Reader. ...
  4. Commit to a Title Up Front. ...
  5. Create a Synopsis. ...
  6. Allow Yourself to Write Badly. ...
  7. Make Up the Story as You Go. ...
  8. Do the Opposite.

What is the purpose of mini library? ›

The Mini Libraries are a resource for our communities, a chance to experiment in library science, and a reminder to the public that even if the library itself is in ruins, the librarians are still thinking of them.

What are some library rules? ›

Rules for High School Libraries
  • No running.
  • No food or drinks.
  • Return library books on time.
  • Pay late fees on time.
  • Keep hands clean while reading.
  • Use a bookmark.
  • Report all book damage to librarian.
  • Be quiet.

How should you behave in the library? ›

7 Library Etiquette Tips
  1. Never talk at full volume. Whisper – it's a no-brainer. ...
  2. Don't forget to plug in your headphones. ...
  3. Do build a book tower beside you… ...
  4. 4. … ...
  5. Try not to stare at other people. ...
  6. Avoid crunchy snacks. ...
  7. Keep the small talk to a minimum.
12 Aug 2019

How do you stock a school library? ›

18 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Stock Your Classroom Library
  1. Create an Amazon wish list. ...
  2. Visit the marketplace at First Book. ...
  3. Check out Kids Need to Read. ...
  4. Apply for book grants. ...
  5. Tap into the Reading Resource Project. ...
  6. See what the The Library of Congress has to offer. ...
  7. Scour resale shops. ...
  8. Look for online bargains.
16 Jul 2019

How do libraries organize books? ›

The most common way to shelve books in a library is to use the Dewey Decimal System, which groups books of the same subject together. With this system, every book is categorised into 10 main sections.

What is an organized teacher? ›

A teacher's ability to organize and prioritize classroom materials and schedules makes for successful teacher-student learning and efficacy. It is especially important during the first few weeks of each school year, and it will set the expectations and classroom behavior for the duration of the year.

How do you organize a library by genre? ›

Use your genre graphic and words on every label. Now, put a sticky label in the cover of each book to organize it by genre. Teacher Tip: As you create your genre labels, you might also want to think about fonts. Using a different font for every genre/topic label can also help students sort them into the correct bins.

How do effective teachers strive to maintain an atmosphere where learning flourishes quizlet? ›

How do effective teachers strive to maintain an atmosphere where learning flourishes? They learn to say I'm sorry in situations where they have made a mistake. What are the most important elements of a school system? Mr.

How do you store lots of books? ›

10 Creative Ways to Store Books (That Aren't Bookshelves)
  1. Stack books on your bar cart. ...
  2. Mix books with pictures. ...
  3. Display your books on (or below) a windowsill. ...
  4. Use a hutch or buffet for book storage on display. ...
  5. Take advantage of storage spots that are hard to reach. ...
  6. Display books on the mantel. ...
  7. Store books in the fireplace.
6 Nov 2021

How can we use the library effectively and efficiently? ›

7 Steps to Effective Library Research
30 Aug 2022

How do you maintain a library? ›

Maintenance of library material involves kinds of stacking, shelf arrangement, cleaning, shelving, stock verification and weeding of unwanted material. Binding of documents will also be discussed as it is essential for care and repair of documents for their long life.

What are the challenges and problems of libraries? ›

The Biggest Challenges Public Libraries Are Facing
  • Funding. It's rare that funding isn't an issue, but with budget freezes, staff furloughs, and increased sanitation resources needed, there is a deep concern over the financial situation for libraries. ...
  • New Safety Protocol. ...
  • Upset Patrons.
24 Jun 2020

What are the three components of the library? ›

A library exists when the three components of its trinity – the readers, the books and the staff – are in purposive contact with each another.

What are the four components of library? ›

The major components are schedules, notations, and index.
their generic importance:
  • Cognitive function (Mapping of knowledge)
  • Bibliographic function (Information retrieval)
  • Shelf arrangement function (Locating and brows-
5 Jul 2022

How do I create a library management system? ›

Book List: Allow students to browse the overall collection of the library on their end. Locate Books: Allow students to find the location of a book in the library by filling in the details of the required book. Easy Payments: Allow students to easily pay their fees and fines related to books.

How do you create a Class Library in VS code? ›

You'll add additional, related projects to the same solution.
  1. Start Visual Studio Code.
  2. Select File > Open Folder (Open... ...
  3. In the Open Folder dialog, create a ClassLibraryProjects folder and click Select Folder (Open on macOS).
  4. Open the Terminal in Visual Studio Code by selecting View > Terminal from the main menu.
25 Feb 2022

How do I add a Class Library to an existing project? ›

Solution 1

Go to the solution explorer window of the project where you want to add the library project,right click on it and choose add reference ,then in the opened window choose browse and select the physical path of your library project check it and add it . Now you can use it .

How do I add a Class Library to my Web application? ›

Adding the Class Library to a Web Application Project
  1. In the File menu, click Add and then click New Project. ...
  2. Under Project types, expand Visual Basic or Visual C#, and then click Web to display available Web templates.
  3. In the Templates box, select ASP.NET Web Application.
13 Feb 2013

How do I add a Class Library in Visual Studio 2015? ›

Open your Visual Studio 2015 preview, go to the file menu, go to the new, go with the project, from the template field select C#, select Class Library then name it as you want. Save it at an appropriate place.

What is a class library project? ›

In object-oriented programming , a class library is a collection of prewritten class es or coded templates, any of which can be specified and used by a programmer when developing an application program.

How do you call a class library method in C#? ›

Step 1 : Create New Project
  1. Select C# in the language tab.
  2. And then select Class Library (.NET Framework) and press the NEXT button.
  3. You can then proceed to give your project a Project Name.
  4. Call the project MathLibrary (in order to copy/paste example code)
2 Jan 2020

How do I add a library reference in Visual Studio? ›

To add a reference to a type library in Visual Studio
  1. Install the COM DLL or EXE file on your computer, unless a Windows Setup.exe file performs the installation for you.
  2. Choose Project, Add Reference.
  3. In the Reference Manager, choose COM.
  4. Select the type library from the list, or browse for the . ...
  5. Choose OK.
15 Sept 2021

How do I debug a Class Library project? ›

  1. Open your class library project.
  2. Go to [Project]
  3. At the bottom select project's [Properties...]
  4. Go to [Debug]
  5. In the 'Launch' row, select "Executable"
  6. Select the path to the .exe file.
  7. Set your breakpoints.
  8. Run the project.
2 Dec 2012

What is razor Class Library? ›

Razor Class Library provides a way to package and distribute UI components to be referenced and reused within a host application. As this doc mentioned , Razor views, pages, controllers, page models, Razor components, View components, and data models can be built into a Razor class library (RCL).

How do you call a method from another project in C#? ›

“call method from another project c#” Code Answer's
  1. public class AllMethods.
  2. {
  3. public static void Method2()
  4. {
  5. // code here.
  6. }
  7. }

What is Net class library? ›

NET Standard libraries are a replacement of the platform-specific and portable libraries concepts. They are platform-specific in the sense that they expose all functionality from the underlying platform (no synthetic platforms or platform intersections).

How do I add a reference to class library in .NET core? ›

Add Class Library Reference

To use a class library in your application, you must add a reference to the library to access its functionality. Right click on the project name of your console app in Solution Explorer and select Add ->Reference option.

What is base class library in net? ›

. NET Base Class Library is the sub part of the Framework that provides library support to Common Language Runtime to work properly. It includes the System namespace and core types of the . NET framework.

How do I create a DLL file? ›

Create the DLL project
  1. On the menu bar, choose File > New > Project to open the Create a New Project dialog box.
  2. At the top of the dialog, set Language to C++, set Platform to Windows, and set Project type to Library.
  3. From the filtered list of project types, select Dynamic-link Library (DLL), and then choose Next.
10 Dec 2021

How do I create a Class Library in NuGet? ›

Create And Publish A . NET Core Class Library Package Into
  1. Step 1 - Create a simple . ...
  2. Step 2 - Build and Pack your project from Visual Studio. ...
  3. Step 3 - Register yourself in and Create API Key. ...
  4. Step 4 - Publish Package into from CMD. ...
  5. Step 5 - Use newly created Package into Another Project.
5 Aug 2021

How do I open a DLL file? ›

Go to File and click Open and choose the dll that you want to decompile, After you have opend it, it will appear in the tree view, Go to Tools and click Generate Files(Crtl+Shift+G), select the output directory and select appropriate settings as your wish, Click generate files.


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