The Problem: Today I talk about the classroom library. A constant source of frustration and inspiration, and a ridiculous amount of work. We all know how important a good classroom library is. It might be the most important element in a classroom, and I am not just talking ELA classrooms. Imagine a rich math literacy corner or collections of historical fiction in the social studies classroom. But you spend so much time creating, ordering, organizing your library to have it all fall apart or disappear within the first quarter of the school year. Or if you do manage to create a check out system that works you spend all of your time implementing it. The Solution: Online Library Management These programs basically allow you to catalog and track your books. Y0u scan the barcode of the book to enter it into the library and again to check it out to students who you have entered into the program. This way you can see who has what and when they had it. Of course, no system is foolproof, but I have found that this REALLY helps in book retention and keeping track of what books kids read. There are two online library management tools that I have tried. Booksource is one: it is free and pretty good. Libib is free for basic and is 9 dollars a month for pro and is AMAZING. The difference being that it is MUCH easier to check in, check out and add books - and you can use a digital scanner just like real librarians and it makes that beep-boop sound that is so satisfying. (They can be had for less than 30 dollars or 40 if you want to be fancy and go Bluetooth wireless!)
Libib also makes it much easier to assign the power of the library over to students - which is scary and amazing! I was really hesitant to do it - but it was the best thing I have done. I trained them on the Libib website and gave them the title of librarian and watched as the power slowly went to their heads. They check books in and out, ask for overdue books, track down books that students ask for and generally run a stricter library than I do. I love my librarians.
Let me know if you want to come to my room and check it out, or if you want me to come to your room and set up your library for you!!