Our school created a book room last summer for the elementary teachers, and it has been such a handy repository for all the books we share on a regular basis. When our language arts teachers met to discuss our needs and wants for the book room, most of us had read It’s All About the Books and had been drooling over the pictures. We used that book as inspiration and identified three main goals. We needed easy access for all teachers at any time of day, flexibility to allow for new books or the removal of books we no longer needed, and an efficient organization system since we had limited space.
Book Room Access
Our book room is a small, narrow space between two third grade classrooms. It already had shelving installed and housed all our crafty project supplies. We overhauled and consolidated the project supplies, which gave us room for the book sets. The third grade teachers graciously allow us to enter their classrooms discreetly any time of the day, although, we found that we typically needed to get in there during that few minutes we are last minute prepping right before the school day starts, so it is not too disruptive for the teachers. There are two doors, Jack and Jill style, between the two classrooms, so we don’t always need to enter the book room space the same way.
Master Book List
We created a master spreadsheet with all the book sets listed and shared it with our group on Google Drive. The spreadsheet has title, author, number of book copies the school owns, book reading level, and a column for location because we do keep some book sets in our individual classrooms. We printed two copies of the book list to keep in the book room. One copy is sorted by reading level; the other copy is sorted by author. Teachers can find a book based on the level they need or search for a specific book based on author. Using the spreadsheet, we created labels that are attached to colorful bookmarks. This identifies the set making it easy for teachers to locate sets.
When new book sets are added mid-year, a teacher fills out a blank bookmark and adds the book set to the appropriate bin. The teacher also adds the information to the Google Drive spreadsheet. I was appointed “spreadsheet master” so I periodically go through and update and re-sort the spreadsheet (it’s a good summer task).
Book Room Organization
When teachers need to check out books from the book room, we have a clothespin system. Teachers take the books they need and leave the clothespin attached to the bookmark or book box where the books will be returned. Not only do we have book sets with trade books we purchase independently, we also have the Fountas and Pinnell guided reading series. One of our teachers created leveled labels that we hot glued to the fronts of the various boxes.
To help teachers keep the materials in the correct spaces, there are pictures posted on the walls near the shelves with a visual of how the materials should look. We have the pictures maps set up for the book bins as well as for the craft supply bins.
TIP: We used all the existing plastic bins we had. We oriented them in different directions and fit book sets side by side. We also slid picture book sets in between book bins. Maximize your space!
I do have plans to spend a day this summer cleaning and updating the school book room, but for the most part, it has stayed in its original condition. We all get the books we need when we need them. It has been a huge help particularly for the lower grade teachers who are grabbing the F&P leveled readers constantly. Even if you have limited storage space at your school, finding a closet or unused area to start a shared book room is well worth the time and effort!
Very impressive! Our high school is in need of a book room. If it happens I will refer to your system. Thanks!
We are setting up our book room. Wondering if you have a template for your check out labels? Looks like they are Fountas and Pinnell books. That is what we are using.
A co-teacher made the F&P labels that are on the front of the leveled boxes. She has them for purchase at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Editable-Bookroom-Labels-4471815. To create the bookmarks for the non-F&P books, I created a mail merge to square Avery labels with our master Excel spreadsheet and pasted them to the top of cardstock cut in bookmark sized strips. Good luck with your book room!
We do not have anything set up yet.
CricketMuse– Another reader made a comment under your comment about the book room, and I was trying to respond to a question from spfeiff about templates. 🙂
Ah—that makes sense now. Still wish we had a book room besides tying up the library shelves🧐
It’s been easier to maintain than we thought. I spend much less time trying to hunt down a book set I need. if it’s not in the book room, I can see the clip with the teacher name and go straight to that teacher rather than sending an “ISO” mass email (which is what was happening).
What are the pink bookmarks? Is that so you can easily see if someone has added a set? Trying to improve our book room.
There is a sticker on each bookmark with book information for class sets. The bookmark goes in the front book of a book set. If people add a book set, they create a bookmark for the new set and add it to a bin for that book level.
What size (width/depth) are the turquoise cardboard book holers? Thanks!
Those are the boxes that come with the Fountas and Pinnell readers. They are about 4 inches wide. Magazine holders would be close to the same width. Something like this… https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/tjena-magazine-file-white-10395416/. Thanks for reading!