Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Room Re-Do...ALMOST Done!

For the most part, I’m done.

I have a few things to tweak here and there and a few things to decorate.  I have enlisted help from friends and family and I’m feeling really good about the outcome.


I hated how overwhelming it looked from the doorway.  The Fiction Big Books seemed to be everywhere.  They started going down the left wall, bounced over to the right wall, and finished by being on top of the Non-Fiction Big Book racks.  I moved them to the back of the room and grouped them.


Across the back of the room were very nice metal shelves.  They were grouped by reading, math, and gifted education.  However, some of the materials were mixed up.  There were also games with missing pieces, ditto masters for games covered in layers of dust and a box of Keep Books© hidden in the shelves.  Who knew?  I moved the games and support materials to the left wall.  I added the 2 racks of Really Good Stuff© centers from my office (?) to the 2 racks of centers that were in the book room.  I also moved all the math materials to one place.  (Yes, I know I said math.)  There was another group of shelves that had math materials and math leveled readers.  I moved all the math materials and books to one spot…the math aisle.


I decided the big books could fit on the metal shelves in the back.  I had my oldest son move the shelf height so it would fit.  These shelves contain the Fiction Big Books.  On the right side of the picture you can see I removed the 2 bottom shelves and moved the big book carts.

Now the 2 big book carts from the front are on the back wall with the titles alphabetized.  These carts contain the Non-Fiction Big Books.  I also put extra Rigby kits on the top shelves.


Opposite the big book carts, I added the extra shelves and made these shelves for the Keep Books©.  They were in so many places.  I found some in a box on the “Resource Shelf,” some were on extra shelves in the kindergarten wing, and some were in a box in the cabinet in the book room.


You remember those awful labels.  They have been replaced.  Thank Goodness!  Each box contains a library pocket.  My mom put the library pockets on the boxes.  (What would we do without our moms?)  Each label contains the titles in the box and the number of books in the box.  My plan is to add books in alphabetical order…IF there is room in the box.  If not, I will add another box to the end of the row.  Each bag of books also has a label with the level, the title, and the number of titles in the bag. I also wrote with permanent marker the box number on the bag.  (Next week, I’ll post pictures of the check-out procedure.)


The Professional Library filled 28 buckets and 9 shelves.  Each bucket was beautifully labeled and contained books on a specific topic.  It was organized, but it took up a lot of space.  I took the baskets, used some for the Keep Books©, and got the books on 2 shelves.  I moved the math professional books to the math shelf.  I moved the science and social studies professional books to their own shelves, as well.  I used old boards and labels to divide the professional books easily.  I even found 3 books to help with fluency I didn't realize we had.  I’m sure I can use some of the information in the books for our RtI.

Finally, after being asked not to throw the SRA kits out, I hid them on the top shelf above the big books…shhh, don’t tell anyone.


I forgot to take a picture of the Books on Tape.  The containers for these sets were crammed full and sketchy.  Some of the bags had literally dry-rotted.  Some had books with no tapes.  Some contained tapes with notes saying the tape didn’t work.  Some contained a self-recorded tape so old you couldn't read the titles.  I cleaned it up, threw some tapes away, and even put the book sets in the leveled library if it was possible.

I’m happy with the outcome.  My custodian asked if I was going to actually let the teachers use it…hmmmm?


That remains to be seen.

Special thanks to My Cute Graphics.  I love her clipart!


  1. Cathy, my colleague and I have gotten so many good ideas for our book room. We had many of the same issues at our school, and Kate (the other reading teacher) has worked a lot of hours getting things more organized. We still have a lot more to do- we go back on Wednesday, kids start on September 2nd. We are going to have each grade level do a book room scavenger hunt/inservice before they can check out anything.

  2. Patti, it was certainly a labor of love. The Book Room Scavenger Hunt is a great idea. :-)

  3. Looks great! What are the duties & responsibilities for keeping the bookroom looking great? I am about to establish protocols for our staff to keep the bookroom looking great & I am not sure what all those duties should include.
    I would love some suggestions.

  4. As you know, any book room organization is only as effective as the people who use it. I am going to do a friendly request for Book Room Etiquette - mainly checking out and checking in books. Also, I'll ask for people to double check the book labels the first time they use them and make sure I know what needs to be updated. I will also use the last day before Christmas, when there are parties in classrooms to do a spot check and make sure things are straight. My office/room is right beside the book room, so I'd love to say I won't be crazy about this year, but I probably will be.