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Old 11-10-2014, 11:39 AM
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Default How Do You Organize Your Books?

I teach off of what books I read.

so for example this week we are doing the letter you and reading under pants thunder pants and the ugly duckling.

I have over 2000 books and I just cant seem to find a system that keeps them organized so that I can find them after we are done with them.

currently we have them categorized by theme, but that is not really working. example. dinos, community helpers, letters, colors, etc....

I thought about having one of my assistants sit and enter each one into excel so that I know what books I have and then shelf them in ABC order. But that could take a really long time.

The other issue is that I keep re-buying some books as I can't find them when needed or I don't know where they went..........

how you do you all do it.

BTW these are my books, not the books that the kids use, they have their own library and it is not in any order but book on the shelf.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:47 AM
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Since it is your personal library and you teach with letters, mostly, I would put them in alphabetical order. I might also add colored duct tape to the spine. Just cut it small (a 1" strip) and place it from back to front with a key somewhere.

Green tape=Dinos
Blue tape=Community Helpers
Pink tape=Letters
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
Since it is your personal library and you teach with letters, mostly, I would put them in alphabetical order. I might also add colored duct tape to the spine. Just cut it small (a 1" strip) and place it from back to front with a key somewhere.

Green tape=Dinos
Blue tape=Community Helpers
Pink tape=Letters
I like that idea.

yeah I am thinking of putting by title, as the title is what is important for me to know. Maybe I can get those colored dots that they sell...

that is an excellent idea...
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:59 AM
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I divide my books by themes and then when I change out my room each month, I get the books from their particular container. I have 2 book shelves that I use for the kids each month. We have these containers, not sure what they are called but they look like file folder containers. they are in office supplies at walmart, but mom found some plastic ones at dollar mart. It is easy to rack up on books so dividing them makes it much easier for me to find what I am looking for.
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Old 11-10-2014, 01:57 PM
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When you develop a system, please share! I spent my holiday break putting in every single children's book I owned-title, author, ISBN-into an excel sheet. Then did a sort on Excel by title in alphabetical order and put them all on the bookshelf in that order. It was beautiful. A true work of art. All of the books I'd use during the week were placed into a container to be placed back on the shelf in it's space at the end of the week. Oh what a wonderful system. But then....then....


My bookshelf broke. And by broke I mean 3 shelves just collapsed, tore out the screws connecting the shelves to the side boards. Everything on the floor, a big heaping pile o books. I was so mad. I admit I shed a few tears, kicked a few books, may have even thrown a few. 2 I had to throw away because I more or less destroyed them. No, the kids weren't here.

And now, there they sit-in multiple containers just tossed in there like last weeks news. I don't have it in me to put them all back just so. Plus, I need a new bookshelf.

I will say, as I do themes I make a container for all of that 'theme' stuff to go into-including books. I'm trying to not kill my next bookshelf-whenever the bookshelf fairy appears and brings me a new one.

That was probably no help.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:12 PM
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My mother is a school teacher and she keeps everything by unit. There is one for each month/holiday/theme so she can pull them out easily and go.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Trummynme View Post
When you develop a system, please share! I spent my holiday break putting in every single children's book I owned-title, author, ISBN-into an excel sheet. Then did a sort on Excel by title in alphabetical order and put them all on the bookshelf in that order. It was beautiful. A true work of art. All of the books I'd use during the week were placed into a container to be placed back on the shelf in it's space at the end of the week. Oh what a wonderful system. But then....then....


My bookshelf broke. And by broke I mean 3 shelves just collapsed, tore out the screws connecting the shelves to the side boards. Everything on the floor, a big heaping pile o books. I was so mad. I admit I shed a few tears, kicked a few books, may have even thrown a few. 2 I had to throw away because I more or less destroyed them. No, the kids weren't here.

And now, there they sit-in multiple containers just tossed in there like last weeks news. I don't have it in me to put them all back just so. Plus, I need a new bookshelf.

I will say, as I do themes I make a container for all of that 'theme' stuff to go into-including books. I'm trying to not kill my next bookshelf-whenever the bookshelf fairy appears and brings me a new one.

That was probably no help.
omg I want to hug you after having read that...horrible thing to happen.

I am so conflicted. I have a wall shelf that holds 24 nice size storage containers, 14x14. But then if I put all the dino books in one box, I won't realize that I have do dinosaur wear underwear in there if I file it under dinos....then when doing letter U, i can't find it....

I have 12 themes and I though I had it down, guess not....lol
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:19 PM
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omg I want to hug you after having read that...horrible thing to happen.

I am so conflicted. I have a wall shelf that holds 24 nice size storage containers, 14x14. But then if I put all the dino books in one box, I won't realize that I have do dinosaur wear underwear in there if I file it under dinos....then when doing letter U, i can't find it....

I have 12 themes and I though I had it down, guess not....lol
I had this problem too. My solution? Pick up a second book and stick it in the 'U' box. Not saying it has to be full priced. Look at book sales etc. I keep a list of books that I want 2nds of and then take it with me when I go to book sales or do our scholastic orders. If I can get em cheap I buy them. If I can't, well we just skip that book for the 2nd theme.

Or if I have a TON of dino books but not a lot of U books, I'd stick the underwear one in the U container. just a few suggestions.
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Old 11-10-2014, 03:51 PM
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I shelve mine alphabetically by title, but only by putting all A books together, B books together, etc. Much easier to put away then, which means I am more likely to do it.
Then within the alphabet I have major categories: Bears, Butterflies, etc. have their own divider within the B section. Dragons, Dinosaurs in D. Fall , Firefighters in F. Spring, Summer in S. etc.
I had small wood dividers cut out of hardboard, which I labeled with the letter or the category. They extend about 1 1/2 inches past the end of the shelf for visibility.
I also file a few favorite authors in their own section within the alphabet: Eric Carle, Nancy Carlson, Robert McCloskey, Phyllis Root.
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Old 11-10-2014, 05:53 PM
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Default Wait!

...don't start an excel file...there's something so much better already out there if you're a nerdy book person (no offense, I'm talking about myself!). It's Librarything.com. I've got all my (ahem...er...5,000) books on there, and I love it, love it, love it. You enter your books by just typing in the ISBN, or maybe the title, or maybe just a word and the author name--whatever works for you--then everything else comes up automatically--a photo of the cover, the author, etc, etc, etc. If you want to be truly anal (what? who? me?), you can add a whole bunch of "tags" that you might use later to look up the book (i.e. "dinosaurs," "letter A," "bottom shelf," whatever works for you!) Then when you want to look at your list of books, you can organize them however you want (so if you wanted to, you could have it alphabetize your list, and then make your shelves match). It's free up to 200 books, and then I think it was $25 forever for the rest. (That was years ago, so it may have changed.) If you want to be really like a librarian, you can buy a "cue cat" from them (my friend gave me one!) and it scans the bar code on the back of your book so you don't even have to type in the ISBN (totally worth it if you were going to do your whole collection). My virtual library is gorgeous. :-) (You can see mine here, if you want to see how it works.)

Now as for my shelves...I'm a mess. I've got some organized by topic, some by favorite authors, some as sets, some just randomly, and many in a heap on the floor that don't fit in the shelves. But librarything helps me remember what I have so I can go in search of it.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
...don't start an excel file...there's something so much better already out there if you're a nerdy book person (no offense, I'm talking about myself!). It's Librarything.com. I've got all my (ahem...er...5,000) books on there, and I love it, love it, love it. You enter your books by just typing in the ISBN, or maybe the title, or maybe just a word and the author name--whatever works for you--then everything else comes up automatically--a photo of the cover, the author, etc, etc, etc. If you want to be truly anal (what? who? me?), you can add a whole bunch of "tags" that you might use later to look up the book (i.e. "dinosaurs," "letter A," "bottom shelf," whatever works for you!) Then when you want to look at your list of books, you can organize them however you want (so if you wanted to, you could have it alphabetize your list, and then make your shelves match). It's free up to 200 books, and then I think it was $25 forever for the rest. (That was years ago, so it may have changed.) If you want to be really like a librarian, you can buy a "cue cat" from them (my friend gave me one!) and it scans the bar code on the back of your book so you don't even have to type in the ISBN (totally worth it if you were going to do your whole collection). My virtual library is gorgeous. :-) (You can see mine here, if you want to see how it works.)

Now as for my shelves...I'm a mess. I've got some organized by topic, some by favorite authors, some as sets, some just randomly, and many in a heap on the floor that don't fit in the shelves. But librarything helps me remember what I have so I can go in search of it.
wow this sounds amazing and I cant wait to see it....thank so much for taking the time to share all of this with me. I truly appreciate it.

this sounds exactly like what I am looking for.

btw what is a cue cat?
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daycare View Post
I teach off of what books I read.

so for example this week we are doing the letter you and reading under pants thunder pants and the ugly duckling.

I have over 2000 books and I just cant seem to find a system that keeps them organized so that I can find them after we are done with them.

currently we have them categorized by theme, but that is not really working. example. dinos, community helpers, letters, colors, etc....

I thought about having one of my assistants sit and enter each one into excel so that I know what books I have and then shelf them in ABC order. But that could take a really long time.

The other issue is that I keep re-buying some books as I can't find them when needed or I don't know where they went..........

how you do you all do it.

BTW these are my books, not the books that the kids use, they have their own library and it is not in any order but book on the shelf.
First of all (green with envy). I would love to have that many books

Quote:
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist View Post
Since it is your personal library and you teach with letters, mostly, I would put them in alphabetical order. I might also add colored duct tape to the spine. Just cut it small (a 1" strip) and place it from back to front with a key somewhere.

Green tape=Dinos
Blue tape=Community Helpers
Pink tape=Letters
This is what we do, but we use plain white dots (like you would use for a yard sale) and color them the appropriate color for the category. We put them on the spine of the book with a little packing tape. And we have a list of the categories and colors posted next to the books so we can grab what we need.

So maybe you can do a combination of alphabetizing them, and categorizing them using a similar system to what we have. Put them in alphabetical order, but have them with the different colors so that you can cross reference them.
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  #13  
Old 11-10-2014, 07:02 PM
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wow this sounds amazing and I cant wait to see it....thank so much for taking the time to share all of this with me. I truly appreciate it.

this sounds exactly like what I am looking for.

btw what is a cue cat?
You're welcome! Fun to share with a like-minded person.
A cue cat is a cat-shaped thingy like a computer mouse, but like a bar-code scanner machine at a store. Wave it at your book, and like magic, it's on your computer. :-)
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:23 PM
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I know some teachers who use those round rummage sale stickers to color-code by genre, then write a letter on the sticker to organize by author, or whatever.

If you can think of broad categories for your themes you could use the color, then write the theme on the sticker.

Personally, I had an elaborate system that I couldn't keep up with, so I scrapped it. I have my books sorted by season, and any "general" books are divided among the seasons so they get into the rotation too. Some books are rotated in and out by month, like Valentine books are only out during February, but the rest are out the whole season.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
...don't start an excel file...there's something so much better already out there if you're a nerdy book person (no offense, I'm talking about myself!). It's Librarything.com. I've got all my (ahem...er...5,000) books on there, and I love it, love it, love it. You enter your books by just typing in the ISBN, or maybe the title, or maybe just a word and the author name--whatever works for you--then everything else comes up automatically--a photo of the cover, the author, etc, etc, etc. If you want to be truly anal (what? who? me?), you can add a whole bunch of "tags" that you might use later to look up the book (i.e. "dinosaurs," "letter A," "bottom shelf," whatever works for you!) Then when you want to look at your list of books, you can organize them however you want (so if you wanted to, you could have it alphabetize your list, and then make your shelves match). It's free up to 200 books, and then I think it was $25 forever for the rest. (That was years ago, so it may have changed.) If you want to be really like a librarian, you can buy a "cue cat" from them (my friend gave me one!) and it scans the bar code on the back of your book so you don't even have to type in the ISBN (totally worth it if you were going to do your whole collection). My virtual library is gorgeous. :-) (You can see mine here, if you want to see how it works.)

Now as for my shelves...I'm a mess. I've got some organized by topic, some by favorite authors, some as sets, some just randomly, and many in a heap on the floor that don't fit in the shelves. But librarything helps me remember what I have so I can go in search of it.
Wow...thank you so much for sharing this!! I have a mixture of books, too and just have been blocked as to how to organize them. I can't tell you how many times I have bought DD duplicate books because I can't remember what she already owns. This will be so helpful.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:07 AM
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Another labeling solution might be craft tape, (aka Washi tape) because it come in so many different patterns/colors. You might even find actual dinosaur tape for dinos, apple tape for fall, etc. That would be super cute Then, I would sort them by what letter you would likely use them with, (if you are like me, alphabetizing them only works if you can remember the exact title. I often forget the name of books I only use once a year) but add the tape to the spine for easy searching.
You could make a "key" on a sheet of paper with a small piece of the tape next to the category, so each staff member knows what tape to look for when pulling books for a specific theme.

Here's some photos so you know what I mean.
washitaped.jpg

washitape.jpg

Washi-Tapes-copy.jpg
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:36 AM
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There is also the booksapp and book buddy app that you can get if you have an iPhone. Not sure about android phones. But it has a barcode scanner that you can use with your camera. Like the library thing but maybe easier as you just need your phone and not the computer. I ha e scanned a few books and it seems like it will work good. You can also use tags and if you borrow it out and to who. HTH
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:55 AM
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We use a database http://www.collectorz.com/ and the cue cat and enter them all into the database and indicate the theme box they are in. Then I got cardboard boxes free from walmart in the baking section (the ones the packets of muffin mixes come in)and label them. I then label the back of each book with the theme they need to be returned to. That way I can pull out the box with the theme I want and if I'm looking for a specific book I can pull it up on the database and find out which box it is in. There is also a check out option so when I borrow out books (or movies or cd's because we have all ofthem in there as well) I can remember who has it.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:25 AM
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When I used to work at a center and was in charge of organizing the library, I would pick big name authors (Eric Carle, Jan Brett, etc) in their own sections and then organized the others by subject. It's easy to put The Very Hungry Caterpillar in a butterfly unit, but I felt it was more memorable to put it into Eric Carle so others could have access to all his books when doing an author study. To this day, if you gave me a title, I could find it in seconds. Of course, I'm sure it's a disaster now since I'm out of there and was the only one that had organizational skills. Now, I have maybe 50 or so, so I just put them on a shelf in whatever order, usually by size..the little ones make such a mess!
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothingwithoutjoy View Post
...don't start an excel file...there's something so much better already out there if you're a nerdy book person (no offense, I'm talking about myself!). It's Librarything.com. I've got all my (ahem...er...5,000) books on there, and I love it, love it, love it. You enter your books by just typing in the ISBN, or maybe the title, or maybe just a word and the author name--whatever works for you--then everything else comes up automatically--a photo of the cover, the author, etc, etc, etc. If you want to be truly anal (what? who? me?), you can add a whole bunch of "tags" that you might use later to look up the book (i.e. "dinosaurs," "letter A," "bottom shelf," whatever works for you!) Then when you want to look at your list of books, you can organize them however you want (so if you wanted to, you could have it alphabetize your list, and then make your shelves match). It's free up to 200 books, and then I think it was $25 forever for the rest. (That was years ago, so it may have changed.) If you want to be really like a librarian, you can buy a "cue cat" from them (my friend gave me one!) and it scans the bar code on the back of your book so you don't even have to type in the ISBN (totally worth it if you were going to do your whole collection). My virtual library is gorgeous. :-) (You can see mine here, if you want to see how it works.)

Now as for my shelves...I'm a mess. I've got some organized by topic, some by favorite authors, some as sets, some just randomly, and many in a heap on the floor that don't fit in the shelves. But librarything helps me remember what I have so I can go in search of it.
I am struggling to use this site and hope you might be able to help.

I bought a cat cue as you suggested what a lifesave it has been.

The issue that I am having is that they were automatically listing in alphabetical order, but now they are listing as they are added. I can NOT for the life of me figure out how to get them to go back to ABC order.

any input would br great. I tried to get support from the site but that did not work.
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:14 PM
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The issue that I am having is that they were automatically listing in alphabetical order, but now they are listing as they are added. I can NOT for the life of me figure out how to get them to go back to ABC order.

any input would br great. I tried to get support from the site but that did not work.
No problem! It's a really good site, and it can do tons of cool stuff. I haven't figured out everything yet, but this I can do!

Under "your books," you can click either "covers" or "list." Click "list." Then you'll see a bunch of info--title, author, tags, etc. (If you don't like how that's organized, you can change it to all sorts of different configurations by clicking a new "style" or making your own...) All you have to do is click the heading of the column you want them organized by. So to have alphabetical by title, click "title." Alphabetical by author, click "author." You can also sort by clicking the side-by-side arrows (one up, one down) that are in that menu, near "style." I'd never tried that before, so I just did it, and it's cool--you can sort by two categories (like alphabetical by author, and then all the books by one author alphabetical by title).

Hope that makes sense. Let me know if you have more questions. I got a bit obsessed when I was first entering my library, and explored quite a bit.
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