Organizing Your Classroom Library


These mini crates easily fit a class set (25-30) of novels. I use two crates for my class set of Brandon Brown versus Yucátan. Some publisher’s books, especially the ones found on Amazon are a little bit too tall for these but they work for the other publishers. Just turn them upright. You can score these for $1 during back-to-school sales or for 50 cents when they go on clearance.


Appoint CLASS LIBRARIANS! This is the perfect job for your kiddos who: like to tidy up, pay attention to detail, and don’t mind being a tiny bit bossy. I have 2 students who pass out and pick up class sets when we do a whole-class novel study. I train them by explaining exactly what I need them to do (keep all books in the same direction, make sure the covers aren’t bent, erase drawings, etc). Then I supervise them for a couple of days and they’re ready to go. Ideally, your librarians would train their replacements as they rotate jobs. Or just keep the same students for however long they enjoy the job and meet your expectations.

For FVR (check out Dr. Krashen’s article) my two librarians supervise as their classmates choose and return various novels. They’re basically my librarian bouncers-keeping order and making sure no one wastes time instead of reading, and that the books don’t get thrown into an untidy pile.

To keep your shelves neat use this handy trick: Add a small picture of the book’s cover to the spot on the shelf where you would like the book to go. Now your students know exactly where to return the book!


My books aren’t really organized by any criteria. Some, like my level 3+ are grouped together and titles that are sequenced also get grouped together. Other than that I mix ’em up! It’s really fun to display the books on my wall. The covers provide really great visual interest.

If you’re looking for some inexpensive shelving ideas use window caps. I made the cardboard shelves pictured above but once they wear out I’m totally going with window caps since I’m not allowed to mount gutters to my wall.

Here’s a link to my FVR Freebies post if you need to beef up your library for FREE.

Here’s a link to a document I have of book covers to print and display on my FVR Bulletin Board. You can print two pages to 1 for extra small covers like what I use for my shelves. And the most recent novels I’ve added. Boy am I spoiled!

Check out this post from for some really great labels to organize your books by genre.

Señora Chase just published this post about how she organizes her library.

Carrie Toth has a wicked-awesome Pinterest Board with sooooo many ideas for classroom libraries.

Read about how Mike Peto transitions his students to FVR from this 2015 post.

Some great insights from Allison Weinhold.

Bryce Hedstrom has some great insights into Reading and Differentiation.

See you at the next Puente!





2 Comments Add yours

  1. senorab72 says:

    I clicked on the “FVR freebies” link and it opens a tab for writing a new blog post. I am not sure why; I have a wordpress blog, too.

    1. vtracy1 says:

      Oh no! I’ll check and fix. Here’s the link:
      Thank you for letting me know!

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