Classroom Library Makeover

The last two weeks of August were crazy for me, as I'm sure they were for many of you.  One of the things that was unfortunately neglected was the organization of my classroom library.  This drove me insane! I had books sorted haphazardly by categories that no one but me could understand, like Seasons, Holidays, and Favorites.  I'm telling you- they were crazy weeks.   I'm not even going to show you a picture.  It was that bad.

Alright, fine.

Then came January.  My students moved up a reading level (yay!) we are happily settled into our Daily 5 routine, and all my kids knew where to look to find a book.  But I wasn't happy- I knew that the books weren't leveled, and I would have J or K level kids picking up a D or E level book again and again.  Perfect time for a makeover. 

So I went to TPT, and I searched through the catalog for classroom library labels, but I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.  I don't have entire bins of one author or series.  I have 1st through 8th graders in my room throughout the day, so my 10 bins are pretty much miscellaneous the whole way through.  Also, (and my friends Halle and Jenna Across the Hall will tell you) my room is pretty small- I can't expand my bookshelves too much.  The space I have is the space I've got! I already level my guided reading books by lexile, in another corner.  (For another post!)

So, I went to Target.  And I went to the arts and crafts section, where inspiration struck.  I would simply use colored tape to "level" the books, and put a piece of the same color tape on the outside of the bins.  Then, when I get more books and have to rearrange, I can add and take away tape from the bins easily.  It seems like a good solution to me!

It comes on a cardboard paper roll, which is handy for storage.  Here is my work in progress:

(My students are LOVING graphic novels right now! I have to find more!)

And here is my finished product. 


It may not look very different, but it's different on the inside, and that's what counts! I will teach my kids all about the new color system, and make a key to go on the wall.

How do you organize your classroom library if you have multiple grade levels throughout the day?  What about one grade level? By categories, lexile, numbers? Let me know in the comments!



  1. Looks great!! Love that idea :) Have you seen that patterned washi tape? If you run out of colors, it would be a good excuse to buy some!

    PS: You need to show off pics of that back wall!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

    1. Thanks! I am going to do a "where I teach post" soon, but I am thinking about rearranging my room. I will definitely show it off then.


  2. Love that tape idea! My classroom library currently has two sections- one is leveled and labeled, the other section is organized by theme - animals, wordless, holiday, etc. but not labeled - yet:)

    It might have to wait till summer, but I would love to give the kids a visual so they can keep those books in place. The clips we use now are not working.

    Thanks for the idea!
    Teaching in Progress


Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

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