Tried and True & Throwback Thursday: Organizing the Classroom Library

Today is a busy, multi-tasking Thursday as I tackle things on my TPT to-do list, pack up my craft room, and head out to run a few errands. Even today's post is serving a dual-purpose :)
This post is from exactly one year ago :)
I *LOVE* my classroom library!
It's definitely my favorite place in my classroom!
Label, Label, Label!
When I get a new book, it gets two (or three!) stickers:
1. "This Book Belongs to Mrs. Lawler"
I print these on return address labels and
stick them on the bottom right-hand corner of the book
2. Also, when a family donates a book to my classroom,

I have the student fill in a 
"Donated by..." 
sticker and put it inside the front cover:

 2. Colorful dot stickers
I have a dot system that differentiates the books by genre:
This summer, I have a project planned to add:
Orange dots for Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Purple dots for Poetry

On books with multiple books in a series,
I write the book number on the sticker:

I also label the different genres in my library with different tags, so that my "librarian of the week" can put the books from the "Book Return bin" away in the correct section.

Here is a link to a lot of fun FREE library genre labels:
The site includes BOTH fiction and non-fiction,
as well as some favorite author labels
Book Bins
Most of my books are loose on the shelves because I think baskets often take up too much space and my kids are big enough to sort through the books without getting them all jumbled up. (most of my kids anyway!)

I do, however, have 16 baskets that I made last summer when I decided to focus my reading curriculum on author studies. I pulled books by noteworthy authors that I wanted to highlight during the year and put them in bins from the Dollar Tree:
I have a special spot in my library for an 
Author's Spotlight:
At the beginning of the school year, the students do an
Author Study research project and their reports
get rotated through this station all year long (one per week)
You can grab the Author Study graphic organizer for FREE here:
I also have four bins that I use for my history books. 
They are divided by topic or era:
Student Check-Out
I have a low-maintenance system for checking out books to students. I have a separate file folder for each class:
Inside, each student has a pocket and a library card
with their name and number on it:
The students write the date and the title of the book that they check out. Then, when they return the book, they have to
cross it off before sighing out another one.
A sample student card:
*I bought the library pockets from the Dollar Tree and orderedthese library cards from Amazon*
Book Recommendations
My students LOVE to recommend books that they've read - and they're more likely to pick up a book (and read to the end!) if a classmate or I recommend it.
I have a special spot in my bord called "Tweet Reads" where students write a recommendation in a Twitter format (140 characters or less). The students love counting their letters to make sure they're within the limit:
*I cannot remember where I found this form - it was a freebie I downloaded long before I started blogging :) If you know who created this, please let me know so I can give them the proper credit :)
Getting Creative With Space
I quickly ran out of bookshelf space last fall. I was given a brown book shelf that had been stuck in a closet somewhere, but it wasn't long before that one was filled too.
So I had to get creative.
I was walking through my neighborhood one day when I found a large three-drawer organizer on the side of the road with a beautiful sign that read FREE (one of my favorite words!)
I snatched it up and brought it into my classroom. 
I couldn't decide what to use it for,
until a brilliant idea dawned on me...
fill it with books!
I took off the lid and put my Mystery section in the top drawer:
The second and third drawer hold all of my animal fiction books:
I also have books in crates, in my desk drawers, and in reusable grocery bags :)
As a reading teacher, it is my goal to 
instill a passion for reading in my students. 
Having a well-stocked classroom library is key to doing just that.
Speaking of stocking my library, I am SO pumped for the
Scholastic Book Warehouse sale 
that I'm going to this weekend.
If there is one near you, you MUST go! Seriously.
All books are at least 50% off and many are more! They also have a great section where you can stuff as many books as will fit into a cardboard box for $25!

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