Classroom Library

So, my classroom library is about 95% complete. The only thing I haven’t done yet is label and catalogue my chapter books (which is next on my list) and my Levelled Readers, but I’m not too concerned about those because they’re not books I use for Guided Reading (our school has a collective collection of books which we use).

So to celebrate being almost/nearly there/getting so close to finished I’m going to give you a bit of tour of it.

Each category has a sticker code (look at me pretending to be an actual library!) on the front of the container and the back of the books that belong in each category. My theory is that it will help the students put things back in order. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

These are my ‘general fiction’ picture books that students can read (I have another small shelf of my special picture books) – there are 3 buckets, roughly sorted alphabetically by the author’s surname (A-F, G-P, Q-Z – which is just due to the collection of authors I had).

Books that come in series – There Was an Old Lady (I collect the tradition stories, Lucille Colandro’s books and P. Crumble’s Aussie versions!), Pete the Cat, Splat the Cat, Mo Willems, Mr Men, There’s a Hippopotamus on My Roof, Elmer, Hairy Maclary, Magic School Bus, Clifford, etc.

My ‘Australian’ books collection – general Aussie authors in 2 boxes, and then tubs for my all time favourite Aussie authors for whom I have a bad collection habit: Pamela Allen, Jackie French, Mem Fox and Nick Bland.

Seriously, Northern Hemisphere friends – if you need recommendations on awesome Aussie authors you cannot go wrong with these wondrous books. If you want specific book suggestions just let me know – but there are some truly magical books.

These are some of my ‘themed’ buckets – I collect Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss books like a crazy person. I’m a big Star Wars fan, so we’ve got those. My Grade 1 boys adore LEGO readers. There’s a few books that are based on movies/TV shows (Disney books, Ben 10, Pokemon etc), and a bucket for morals/feelings books (just because I have so many of them!).

A few more ‘themed’ buckets – Phonics and Words (alphabet books, Little Mates series, first words, etc), Math (counting, numbers, etc), Fairy and Folk Tales and School-themed books (starting school, 100 days of school, etc).

Yes, they’re sitting on my heater. Yes, I need to move them. I have no idea where, since I’ve literally run out of room in my classroom. I also have a little book stand that sits in front of the heater with books that fit our current them. Sigh.

More themed buckets – predominantly non-fiction, but there’s a few left-over categories that didn’t fit anywhere else. General non-fiction, weather & seasons books, space books, the empty tub will hold general science and science experiment books, and the final tub holds books on Art and How to Draw books.

Lots and lots of books on animals – general animals, dinosaurs, sea animals, insects/bugs/birds –  and puzzles (hidden pictures/mazes/look and find/etc).

And my holiday book buckets – general holidays, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Plus my comic collection for the kids – Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, the Avengers, DC Super Friends, etc.

Here are some examples of my sticker labels for the back of the books. I purchased some generic brand labels (65 stickers per sheet) and used the Avery’s Design and Print Online function to print out simple labels that the Little Smarties can use to return books to their correct spot.

I’ll also have containers for Book Hospital (for any books that need to be fixed) and the Lost Book Home (for books missing labels or for students who struggle to find the correct place to return books.

So… that was my massive holiday project! I’m rather pleased with how it’s turned out, especially given the hours put in to get it to this stage.

Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Feel free to hit me with those!

Tomorrow I’ll have a Word Family and a Counting product to share with everyone. (I’m off to laminate the previews now!)

But, very quickly before I go, I have a reminder and a shout-out.

Don’t forget to get involved in the Super Pack for Bundy fundraiser. It’s only available until April 30th!

And the very lovely Chantelle, from Little Learners, is hosting her first giveaway! Go visit and join in – she has the cutest things in her TpT store!

8 thoughts on “Classroom Library

  1. Wow that looks great! I am so jealous of your book collection! I’m on my final year of study and trying to collect books…but compared to this it looks like I’ll be taking quite a long time! haha


    • Admittedly, I had a head start on my book collection. Before I started teaching I worked in a bookstore for 2 years and got some pretty good discounts. Now I collect second-hand books from whoever’s giving them away, look through markets and garage sales and buy through Scholastic. It takes time and some money, but you’ll be able to build a great library over time!

      Thanks for stopping by!



  2. Wow – your library is looking great! Your book collection is amazing – do you find the kids take good care of the books? I keep all of my special books locked away in my office away from dirty hands because I’m so worried the kids will wreck them. My library at school is made up from second hand books and library books – maybe I need to have more faith in my kiddos. This must have taken you such a long time!

    Lifelong Learners in Prep


    • Thanks, Casey.
      All my ‘special’ books I do keep on a separate shelf, but the majority of them are available for the kids (and if there’s one on my shelf that they know they want to read they’re allowed to ask to read it and look after it properly). I spend a lot of time talking about care and respect for books (and other people’s property) and we’re constantly reinforcing that. I’ve always believed that books should be read, though, and that a well-worn book is a sign of a well-read book.
      I do get cranky about page tears, though, but that’s very infrequent. My kiddos have been pretty good when given some responsibility.


  3. Hey Stef,

    I love your library and how you’ve organised it. I don’t really have any suggestions, but I might do something similar with all my books at home.



    • Hey Tania,

      Thanks for your feedback!

      I collected my containers from the $2 stores near my school. They don’t have a huge range, hence the multiple styles, etc. I just took a picturebook with me (one I knew was a little larger) and tested it out in different containers. Some are baskets, but some are just clear plastic tubs (that I’d normally store supplies in) minus their lids.

      But you’re right, it was tricky to find containers big enough for books. It was trial and error and collecting over a long period of time (and you know, buying up ALL of the containers that I liked at the one time!).



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