Classroom Library Organization

Literacy and Laughter is having a Classroom Library Linky Party! I gave my classroom library a HUGE makeover last summer so I am THRILLED to show it to you. I love having a classroom with bright colors so I did a lot of shopping around to find durable, affordable, colorful boxes in a variety of sizes. Most books in my library are located right in our classroom circle area. Each student has a book bin. These are lined up in the windowsill and numbered for student reference (I like using numbers instead of names so I don’t have to change the labels on them each year.)
Use duck tape to mark student seats on carpet
The best part of my library is that I almost never have to touch any of the books. I wait a few weeks in the fall before I explain how the library is organized, and I only give permission to access a few boxes of books in the library. During this time, I do a lot of training on how to treat books, where to place books after reading them, all sorts of important stuff! I place a sticker on each book that matches the picture displayed on each box label (no words, just a picture) so students know exactly where to place the book when they are finished. This has been invaluable!

Label the bins AND the library books for easy organization

Label library books and bins for easy organization

 

All of my leveled books are kept on one shelf. This is also the shelf I use to display seasonal or themed books that relate to an area of instruction (apples, spring, planets, etc.) Some of these boxes are permanent on the shelf (such as leveled books and the very popular money and planets books). Seasonal book boxes are changed periodically throughout the year.

Leveled Readers and Seasonal Books
Love how this teacher organized her classroom library!

 

The adjoining shelf in my library area displays books by some of our favorite authors (Eric Carle, Kevin Henkes, David Shannon, and so many others). I like my students to realize that the authors of their favorite books are real people, so I include a photo of the author on the labels for the boxes and corresponding books.

Favorite Authors
The student reading area is located behind the leveled bookshelf. I use the bookshelf here to store boxes that are not in season at the moment. It’s a perfect, out-of-the way storage area for these items.
Separate classroom books by popular authors

 

As you can see the quilt I use for reading matches the colors of the book bins.

Reading Area and Extra Storage

Love this teacher's classroom library!

 

One more thing! Did you notice the duct tape on my carpet? I use it to assign seats during circle time. I have five colors in rainbow order (pink, orange, yellow, green, and teal). It coordinates perfectly with my brightly colored baskets and helps so much with classroom management during circle time.
Use duck tape to mark student seats on carpet
UPDATE: Since writing this post I have given a MEGA update to my classroom library. It now looks like this. You can see more photos and take a tour of my new library in this blog post.

a beautiful and well organized kindergarten classroom library. I love the bright colors!
I have also found AMAZING new resources to help teachers level their classroom reading materials. Check out this blog post to learn more.

Tools to help you level your classroom library
Once those books are leveled, they need to be labeled for easy organization. My Classroom Library Labels set on TpT has everything you need to label your classroom library from top to bottom!

Classroom Library Labels have everything you need to lane the books and containers in your classroom library!

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Maria Gavin

Maria is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher, with 13 years of teaching experience. Her love and passion for all things early childhood is now fulfilled as a mom to two amazing kids. She loves sharing practical and creative tips and ideas that are perfect for young learners – in the classroom or at home!

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16 Responses

    1. Hi Becki, I’m so flattered that you like it and I’m your newest follower. The spring paintings you did were adorable!
      Maria

  1. Thanks Kerri!
    I had to hunt around to find the baskets. I got them last summer from Big Lots and a Store called Five Below (everything they sell is $5 or less). Unfortunately, both stores have rotating stocks and when I went back for more boxes a few months later they were all out!

    A few of my bins and all of my student book boxes boxes came from Really Good Stuff (but those ones are so pricy!)

    I’ll be shopping around for more again this summer. I’ll try to post if I find more cute boxes!

    Thanks for finding me! I’m your newest follower too!
    Maria

  2. Maria,

    Thank you so much for linking up! It has been so fun checking out all of these awesome classrooms! I LOVE your bright baskets and quilt. I think I need to be better about spending even MORE time teaching the students how to return their books to the right spots. : )

  3. I love your reading area. I also love the softness of the pillows and the quilt. My question is….. how do you keep it free from lice? I would love to have an area like this but I am afraid it would get infested, lol. Any thoughts or suggestions?

    1. I have been very fortunate to avoid lice infestations thus far. Fortunately, the quilt can easily be washed in hot water and dried. I’ve heard that a dryer gets so hot, it’s great for killing lice. As for the pillows and stuffed animals…if I had to deal with lice, I would place them in garbage bags to seal them until it was safe to open and reuse them.

  4. I just ran across your classroom library on Pinterst and I love it! Redoing my classroom library is one of many tasks for this summer. Where did you find out book baskets? Thanks!

  5. Maria,

    I just ran across this post when deciding how to set up my classroom library. I love all of your ideas and definitely agree with you on teaching them how to put books away. That’s a huge time saver! I purchased a bunch of neon bins from Really Good Stuff because unfortunately I live in Alaska and there aren’t many stores to shop around in… Anyway I want to level my books, but don’t know how to go about this. Any advice? Also if you have the chance check out and follow my blog at chalkfullofideasinfirst.blogspot.com. I’m new and would love to eventually be apart of one of these linksy parties.

    Jacqueline Engels

  6. Love your classroom library!! Question for you- does the duct tape come off the carpet easily? I am about to begin my first year of teaching and I am buying a plain colored rug. I want to use your idea with the duct tape to designate seating.

  7. Are these your shelves or from the school? I’m in the market for shelves for the my classroom to place all my book baskets.

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Hi, I'm Maria.

I’m a former kindergarten teacher turned work-from-home mom. I still love sharing ideas and resources to make teaching easier, so you can focus on what really matters in the classroom. When I’m not working on the blog, you’ll find me chasing kids around the house with a cold cup of coffee in my hand (some things never change even once you’re out of the classroom!)

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