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After 18 years of teaching, I have an amazing classroom library. I also realized that since I’m not working on a ‘Dewey Decimal System’ it’s very difficult to locate specific books when I need them. I have my library organized into three different groups: theme books that align with my teaching for the year, picture books and easy readers alphabetized by the first letter of the author’s last name, and middle and upper elementary books alphabetized by the first letter of the author’s last name.

Over 8,000 books.Ugh.

So when I decide as I’m driving to school that I want to pull a specific book that I hadn’t planned on during my summer theme organizing, there’s a very low probability that I’ll be able to put my hands on it before school starts.

I felt like I tried every organizational trick possible, from labeling shelves to sorting the books into tubs to keeping a written log of all titles and authors, but with that many books, nothing seemed to work. Last summer I got so frustrated with not being able to locate books I had spent money on for specific reasons that I began researching ways to better organize my huge library.

And I found an amazing app called BooksApp. It has been a huge lifesaver.  The BooksApp2 is a free app that can be used on your iPad or iPhone, or Android device. BooksApp2Pro can be purchased for a whopping $3.99 and has a few more features than the light version, including the capability of adding an unlimited number of books. These apps allow you (or a wonderful parent volunteer) to scan the ISBN or manually enter the number then the app will automatically pull all information about each specific book and place it into your own book database which can be downloaded onto your computer.

You can access your library on your iPad, iPhone, Android devices, or computer by the author, title, series, publisher, or subject matter. You can also keep track of what books you’ve loaned out and to whom. It’s also very easy for my kids to locate books when they know I have the book, but can’t remember where they’ve seen it.

So now when I need to access a book quickly, I pull up my app, type in the title and it tells me the location of the book by the author. When I get in a new Scholastic book shipment or I’ve spent my paycheck at Barnes and Noble, all I have to do is scan each book before I put it on the shelf and it’s immediately cataloged.

How do you manage your classroom library?


Paula has a Masters degree in education with an emphasis on child development and child behavior....

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