Since my first day of teaching, I knew that one of my main goals as a teacher was/is to create lifelong readers. I strive to give the students the tools they need to gain a real love of reading. One way for me to do that is to have an ample supply of appropriate books for students to read available in my classroom. And, boy, do I have books! That was never a problem for me. What was a problem was the over all lack of organization to my library. I had books in bins, but they weren't really labeled, the students had a hard time putting the books back in the right place, books seemed to be strewn all over the place, and there was a general "whatever" type attitude towards the library as a whole.
I knew that students wouldn't become readers if they didn't ever read, and my library was holding them back. So I decided to change that. One hot summer day, two years ago, I sat down and finally did it. I organized my library in such a way that it would remain that way....forever (she says in her most confident voice)
** An Overview **
Here is a view of the entire library. As you can see, I have 3 main genre sections:
Pink = Non-fiction
Black = Fiction
Blue = Theme related (mostly from our reading series)
On top I have a moving novel rack. This is where I have classic novels (Little Women, Charlotte's Web) and award winning children's literature (Number the Stars, The Giver)
The baskets are for student book recommendations and my own recommendations.
** The Book Bins **
I am determined that no book shall ever be out of order again. To accomplish this, I set up the bins in my library in the exact same way. First and foremost, they were a score from the dollar bin at Target! They are super cute, and I love them :) I then created the tags for each bin on Word in my computer. I used DJ Inkers clipart (I would attach the document I made, but since I didn't create the clipart, I can't do it. So sorry!) and then inserted a text box into the middle. Once the tag was printed out, I cut it out, backed it on black paper, laminated and, viola!, it was done. I then punched a little hole in the top and used a binder clip to secure it to the book bin. Finally, on each individual book in the bin, I used an Avery label, colored the top and bottom with the same color as the bin, wrote the bin title on it and stuck it on the book.
** The Sections **
This is the non-fiction section of my library. Each bin is labeled with one category that would fit in the non-fiction genre. I have categories such as biography, animals, space, science (general), history, and even one for the "If you lived during..." series.
Here is a close up view of some of the bins I have in the non-fiction section. This really is a very popular place for the students to find books.
The fiction section of the library is set up in the same way as the non-fiction. In this section, I have categories such as realistic fiction (both picture books and chapter books), fantasy, myths and legends, fairy tales, and mystery.
In the blue bins are my books that correlate to the units of study in our reading series. I also have books by authors like Roald Dahl, or series books (like The Babysitter's Club) These are just my "themed" books. The bins are set up in the same way as the other two sections.
Well, there you have it. My library in a nutshell. Can I just tell you that I am IN LOVE with it? Seriously, swoonfully in love. I walk by it sometimes to marvel in its organizational loveliness. And more than just me, the students love it as well. They are easily able to find (AND RETURN) books without much searching on their part. They spend their reading time actually reading now instead of searching for a book. Overall, this organization system has been a blessing to have!