Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Library Shelf Frustration

Over the past few weeks, I've been looking at my fiction and everybody shelves and have not been very happy!  The fiction shelves seem so crowded to me, which doesn't make it easy to find books.  I've been watching my students and many of them just go to the same shelves and the same books.  I want them to branch out and experience more.  The everybody shelves also are crowded and many times the books are falling over because of some of my younger students looking through them.  There is not enough hours in the day for me to straighten up all the shelves every day.  

I'm a mentor in my county, and I went to go visit the person I'm mentoring a few months ago.  She has done great things in her library to really make it her own.  One thing that she had done was add a lot of baskets to her shelves.  She put many of the smaller books, like Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems into baskets.  This seemed to keep her shelves a lot neater.  She also said that students were able to find many books more easily and independently.

I ordered baskets and last week they finally came in.  I started in the fiction section because I want to start a new program with my 4th and 5th graders.  The new program is called Adopt a Shelf.  I'll post about this soon.  Starting in the fiction section has allowed me to once again weed the section.  It pained me to have to remove some of the books, but condition and the 1970's or early 1980's covers were not ones that were being checked out.  Also the layer of dust on the books gave me a clue as well.  The books that got to me the most were the Ramona books.  But I read online that HarperCollins will be re-issuing the Ramona books with updated covers.  I will be on the look-out for those books!

This is a picture of what my first two fiction shelves look like with the baskets!  I just love the way it looks!  I think that it looks more interesting and inviting to the students.  When I read books in a series, I have to read them in order.  I don't like when I start in the middle of a series.  I've noticed that some of the series have no numbers listed on them or the numbers are so small you can't really see them.  So I'm in the process of adding this to many of my series in the Media Center.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)


  1. Hi! Great post! I like the large signage on the top shelf. I noticed you have additional signage on the shelves, too. I use pictures of the books characters when I add a new series or character to our collection which also helps students identify the shelf the book should be returned to.

    Thanks again for sharing!


  2. Stacey--A friend has used this basket idea with her own K-5 library for 3 years now, and she loves it! Between her experiences and your post, I have to say that I'm looking at how to incorporate this myself in the fall. You'll have to keep us all informed as to how you like it! Thanks for the post!