Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Optimum Organization: Classroom Library

Organization is one of the keys to my happiness!  I cannot function without a system for EVERYTHING!  I am one of THOSE people where everything has a place and must return to that place when no longer in use.  I don’t do well with clutter and my students soon find that they are responsible for taking care of “our classroom”. 

Today I am linking up with Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B and Kristen at Ladybug’s Teachers File for their new linky party Optimum Organization.  I will be watching this linky very carefully.  I love new ideas on better ways to organize my room.

I am going to share how my classroom library is organized.  I have over 3,000 books in my classroom library and almost 300 books that we use for literature circles.  I have tried many different ways to get things organized, but this has been my favorite.  They have been organized this way for 4 years.

The library is located in three different areas of my room.  One section contains fiction books, one section contains nonfiction books with the exception of fairytales, fables, folktales and legends and the last section contains books that focus on math and they are kept in the math area of my classroom.

All of the books are kept in baskets. Baskets do require more shelf space, but for me this is the best option.  The baskets truly help the students keep the books organized. 

·      Picture books are organized by alphabetical order by book title.

·      Chapter books are organized by favorite authors, genres, and series.

·      Informational books are organized by subject: science, biographies, places, United States, reference, animals, marine life, reptiles, insects, plants, weather, solar system, history, careers, reference, facts, and grammar.

·      I also have baskets of short stories, poetry, folktales, fairytales, fables, and legends.

Here are several pictures of my classroom library. 
Literature circle book sets are hidden behind the curtains.

Students are responsible for replacing their books in the correct basket.  In the inside back cover of each chapter book, I place stickers listing the genre, basket number, whether it is part of a series, or a favorite author.  For informational books, the sticker will show the subject.  This has been a TREMENDOUS help to me and my students.  After much modeling at the beginning of the year, most books are returned to their correct basket.   I do have a “librarian” that checks a few baskets at the end of the day to make sure that books are in the correct place.

How do you organize your library? 

I hope you will stop by Fun in Room 4B and Ladybug’s TeachersFile to learn of other great ways to organize your room. 

I look forward to responding to any comments, suggestions, or questions you may have about my classroom library.


  1. Wow! I thought I had a lot of books! ;) I love your organization, and that you have 3 separate libraries. Your labels are cute as well!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  2. This is the most impressive classroom library I have ever seen!

    Fifth in the Middle

  3. Your pictures are fabulous. My post is about checkout system but my actual library is not nearly as organized as yours. You've inspired me. :)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  4. So smart to put a basket number on the book! I think mine might actually put them back in the correct place . . . .


    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  5. are super organized! Putting all of that together must have taken a long time. Way to go :) Thanks for linking up!!

    Fun in Room 4B

  6. What an absolutely incredible library!!! I could look at it all day!! Thanks so much for linking up! :)

  7. Wow!
    That's all I can say.
    Your library is INCREDIBLE! I love how organized it is! I have TONS of books and just don't have the shelf room to keep them all in baskets. I do some baskets by author and by topic (for history), but I am impressed that you have room to put them ALL in coordinating baskets.
    I love the way you've organized and used the sticker method. I am very impressed - and challenged to reorganize my library! :)
    Thanks for sharing!

    Joy in the Journey

  8. Oh! This is sooo great! I have been trying to figure out how to organize my books and have been completely lost!

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  9. Your library looks amazing! I love the design on your blog too! I am your newest follower!

    Fashion Craze Learning Days

  10. I love all the space that you have for your library! I wish I had more shelving space...but I don't so I group them by genre on shelves-no baskets. I keep my literature circle books on a shelf up front that students can only look at, not use-makes them want to read them because they can't. :)

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  11. I love these tips! i have a lot of books too - but unfortunately i do not have all the shelf space I need! Hopefully next year, I will have a bigger classroom with more shelf space so I can use some of these great tips :)

    I am your newest follower -- looking forward to more amazing posts! :)

    Mindful Rambles

  12. Seeing how all these 3,000 books are neatly organized is astonishing! You did a really good job in keeping your mini library this organized. And aside from the fact that browsing for books is easier for the students this way, you are also teaching them how to be responsible with school properties. This is truly nice. Congratulations!
    Williams Data Management