These clever and creative classroom library hacks can help you save time, stay organized and get students excited about reading all of the amazing books you have to offer. 

1. Build a Book Hospital

Classroom Library Hacks: Book Hospital

When you put so many classroom library books into the hands of students, some of them are going to come back in less than perfect condition. A Book Hospital helps students learn how to care for books, and brings any with rips or other damage to your attention. Get started building one with this How to Care for Books Lesson from The Daily Café.  

Source: Learning in Wonderland

2. Create a Crate Bench for Extra Seating and Storage

Classroom Library Hacks: Crate Bench

Combine seating plus storage with this easy DIY hack that uses crates, foam and fabric (all materials you can gather for under $20) to create a colorful and useful extension of your classroom library.

Source: Sun, Sand and Second Grade

3. Store Chapter Books in a Suitcase

Classroom Library Hacks: Suitcase Storage

If you’re lucky enough to have so many books you don’t have enough places to put them, here’s a classroom library hack that might help. Chapter books fit well in a suitcase, and (as long as you keep them organized) allow students to easily see the variety you have to offer.

Source: The Classroom Creative

4. Bring In Beach Chairs for Seating

classroom library hacks: beach chairs for seating

Since you pay for so much out of your own pocket, inexpensive is often the name of the game, right? Create a reading nook next to your classroom library with beach chairs, a small area rug and a lamp.  

Source: Where the Magic Happens

5. Color Code Your Classroom Library 

colorcodedlibrary

Instead of color coding by reading level (which many educators, including Fountas & Pinnell, advise against), this teacher color codes her books alphabetically to make book return easier for students. If you organize your books by topic or genre, you could also use these color labels to help students return books to the right shelf or basket. 

Source: Lessons with Laughter

6. Use a Pocket Chart to Store Magazines and Other Reading Materials 

Book Pockets

Magazines, maps, periodicals and other oddly shaped reading materials may not fit on your bookshelves, but they’re still an important part of a high-quality classroom library. This is a quick and creative storage solution!

Source: The Cornerstone for Teachers

7. Label Book Bins with Pictures for Beginning Readers  

GenreLabels

Students need help finding those just right books, especially when they’re first learning how to read. Pictures are a great way to let them younger readers know what types of books they can expect. For older readers, label books with categories like Realistic Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, etc. to help them decide which books they might enjoy.   

Source: Love, Hugs and Ladybugs

8. Construct Classroom Library Sticks 

classroomlibrarysticks

“Each student has a number in my class and that number correlates to the number of their classroom library stick,” says 3rd grade teacher Melissa. “When the student takes a book from the classroom library, then they just place the library stick in the spot they took the book from!” 

Source: Inspire Me ASAP

9. Entice Readers By Building a “Readbox”

readbox

Who needs Redbox when you can build a “Readbox” in your classroom? The book is always better anyway, right? 

Source: Marci Coombs

10. Keep Track of Books with a Classroom Library Checkout System 

classroomcheckout

No surprise, we’re partial to our (free) Classroom Organizer tool. But if you prefer a system that isn’t web-based, this idea is a creative alternative. 

Source: Conversations in Literacy

What are your favorite classroom library hacks? Please share! And for more general classroom inspiration, check out our post on 10 Helpful Teacher Hacks for Educators Who Need Fresh, New Ideas.