Monday, July 2, 2012

Labeling My Library

This post is all about how I label my library.  If Blogger allowed for a subtitle it would be "How I Get My Students to Put Their Books Away in the Correct Bin".

Lately there have been a lot of posts about reorganizing classroom libraries.  Well, because I am moving to a new room, right now my library is a mess with books in two classes and tubs in no order.  Sigh.  It will get done!  It will get done!!

BUT ... I LOVE the way my books are organized and thought you might like to hear about a simple system that works.  This system is from The Sisters of Daily Five fame.  It took hours to set up, but that time was well worth it because now the effort to maintain my classroom library is minimal.

Here are my how to steps:

1)  Sort your books into like catergories.  You can sort by genres, topics, and/or authors.  You will probably end up with some of each.  Three of my book groups are:  Poetry, Reptiles, and Dr. Seuss.

2)  Put each group of books into a separate tub.  (Some groups may take two tubs.)

3)  Label each tub.  (Example:  Reptiles).  Make your labels as plain or as cute as you want.  Some bloggers have offered free labels.  (I used copyrighted images so I can't offer mine.)

4)  Place the tubs where you want them around the room.  Some teachers prefer all tubs are in the same area; others prefer the book tubs scattered through out the room; some teachers have enough storage that they are able to keep tubs put away and just bring out a few at a time.  The choice is yours.

5)  Number each tub.  Start with one and go as high as you need to.  I started in one corner of the room and worked my way around with numbers so the tubs would be in order, more or less.  (I have 48 tubs and some of my tubs are super crowded.  It is best to not overload each tub, but because I have so many books, my tubs are full so they take up less space.)

6)  Label each tub with its number.  I use round, white labels.  I write the tub number on the sticker and place the sticker on the front of the tub.

7)  Label each book in the tub with the same number.  (Once again, I use the round, white stickers.)  This takes FOREVER!!!!  You can get volunteers to help you with this - BUT make sure they will write the numbers neatly.  I had an older student help and I ended up redoing the numbers.  Not fun!

... and the end result is an organized classroom library!

I do NOT use any kind of checkout system with my students.  I want my students to be able to take books to their seats or anywhere in the room whenever they have time to read.  Then when they are done with the book, they look at the number on the front of the book and find that tub.  Simple!  Beautiful!  Really, it does work!  Sometimes my kinders do place books in the wrong tub, but that is rare.  (... and the most common mistake is placing a tub #12 book in the #21 tub or vice versa.  But that mistale always reminds me that we need to work on our numbers!!!)

Now it is back to moving classrooms for me!  I am so grateful that our days are a little cooler right now!

Love to all,


  1. I totally do my library the same way. I just need to up the cutesy factor now. :)
    Been thinking about you! I hope your dad is doing well!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  2. Such a simple solution. Love it! I've moved classrooms this summer too, and still need to unpack, so I know how long that takes! I hope the cooler weather keeps up for you! :)

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  3. I am having a giveaway for my K-2 journals/portfolio printables! My latest resources is Geometry...would love if you would stop by!

    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

  4. Isn't the numbering system amazing!? Love how it keeps things organized!