The Care and Feeding of My Classroom Library Part 1 : Organization!

I have been a teacher now for 17 years.  My biggest passion as a teacher is teaching children how to read and love books.  When you walk into my classroom, the first thing that you notice (besides the bright orange couch) is my book collection.   
I have a problem passion for collecting books for my classroom library!
So, just for fun, a rough estimate mind you, I probably have over 2,000 books in my little classroom library.  
I believe the best way to get children interested in reading is to give them choice in what they read.  Of course, that means that you have to have a lot of different kinds of books for the children to choose from!  Challenge accepted!
How do I organize all those books you may ask?
It was a daunting task at first, but now it is part of my routine.
My books are organized into three main sections.  Two of those sections are fiction (they wouldn’t all fit in the same section) and a non-fiction section.

This is the main section of my fiction books.  They are all in blue bins are for picture books.  The yellow bins have chapter books.

I couldn’t get them into all one picture.  This is a continuation of the pic above.
 This is the largest part of my chapter books.  It is on the other side of the room to make book shopping a little less congested.
This is my Non-Fiction  section. It is in the front of my classroom and is in green bins.
Each bin in my room has a label with the category of book and a number (non-fiction books have letters instead of numbers):
This is one of my “Creatures” boxes.  You can see the name of the category and the number.

I had to turn some of my bins sideways to fit them all in, so I labeled the side of the bin with the number.  

All of the books that belong in these bins as a sticker with the corresponding number on the back.
I have a special themed bookshelf in my classroom as well.  It is affectionately known as “Bluey”:
I change the books in Bluey at least monthly.  The pic above shows Bluey all ready for Talk Like a Pirate Day.  If you looked at Bluey today you would see that he is full of Thanksgiving books!  The kiddos are always welcome to choose books from Bluey as well.  Bluey gives me the opportunity to showcase books that are timely, but also those books that the kiddos might not take to at first glance.  They know that I handpicked the books that go in Bluey, so they are special!
Our favorite book bin in the room though is this one:
Each month when I get new books from Scholastic or other sources, they go in this box.  They are not labeled yet with a number, so the kiddos know they go back in this box.  They cannot keep them in their book boxes.  They can borrow the one that they want before they go to read, and put it back here when they are done.  If they can’t read it all in one sitting, they mark it with a sticky note.  The rule is that you can’t move anyone else’s sticky note.  You can read more about this bin HERE!
My books are also labeled with my name and their A.R. level (if they have one).  More to come in how I label my books in my next post about
The Care and Feeding of my Classroom Library!

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