Managing a classroom library

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by oneteacher, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2017

    I have over 400 books in my classroom library and currently have most of them listed in a google spreadsheet. However, I want to keep better track of them so I know what I have. I've looked at several apps that will let you scan books (but some have to entered manually), but I don't know which ones might be the best. Ideally, I'd like an app that I scan books to enter them in the database and then students can scan the books again to check them out. At the end of the year I'd like to be able to scan all the books again to determine which ones might be lost.

    Has anyone had any luck using an app to manage their classroom library? Or do you have another system you like to use?

    TIA
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Mar 28, 2017

    I've considered that each of the past two years: thinking about a manual database (excel or something) or trying a variety of apps. However, I always ended up abandoning it for a couple reasons: the cost of the app (usually costs beyond a certain number of books), that it would have taken forever to add and maintain, the fact that they'd have to my phone or device that I buy to be able to scan/whatnot and the time it'd take them to do that...etc...

    I ended up realizing that I wanted to strip all barriers away from students being able to access high interest books. Granted, this does mean that a book here or there occasionally goes missing, but it's very, very few. Those that I realize I tend to reorder or try to ask certain students who I felt last had it. Those that I don't notice as much tend not to be ones I even worry about, as they must not have been as vital to my students or me. Out of all the most popular books that about half the class tends to check out during the year, I think I've maybe had one or two go missing, and honestly, I don't know if I ever had it in my library :p

    That being said, if there is an app that works out, then I look forward to hearing it in the thread!

    (For reference, I have somewhere in the 1200-1300 range of books in my library...hard to tell exact numbers since I swear each of my kiddos has a bazillion :p )
     
  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Mar 28, 2017

    That sounds like a lot of work! I used to have a spreadsheet of my books, but the last time I updated the list, I had over twelve hundred. I've bought a lot since then. It would be nice to know exactly what I have, but I think it'd take a couple of days even with an app.

    If you find a great app, make sure to let us know. Maybe your success story will inspire me!
     
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  5. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Apr 4, 2017

    I put no restrictions on my classroom library. I tell my students to show me the book if they plan to take it home, but I don't keep track. I'm guessing my students think I keep track. I lose very few books. I'm guessing if I spent hours on a tracking system, I'd lose fewer, but I don't view the time as worth it.
     
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  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 4, 2017

    Could you try using a free inventory app on your phone? There are many generic apps that could work, including those listed here.

    The benefit to keeping track of classroom library books is that you can easily see which books are frequently getting checked out or not checked out at all, which books have been lost and need to be replaced, and which student has a book in case another student may be waiting for it. A free-for-all is fine for teachers who don't want to keep track, but there's also nothing wrong with keeping track.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
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  7. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    This is honestly one of the big areas in which I hoped tracking it would help. There are some blatantly obvious books being checked out a ton (haha, Secret Coders), but I'd love to see the other data. I have my student check out sheets, but honestly, I know many times it doesn't get used, and I'm not spending forever trying to cull through the 50ish pages of it!
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Apr 6, 2017

    I have the same attitude when it comes to my classroom library. I have a lot of great books. There are a few special ones that I keep set aside and hold kids extra accountable to. But mostly, it's an honor system. I have a sign out sheet where they need to sign out the book. It's their job to remember to use it, and I never check it. They're pretty good about it, but sometimes they forget. Towards the end of the year, I start sending home announcements saying "look through bedrooms and backpacks for books!" I also have parents sign a sheet at the end of the year saying they have checked everywhere for books that need to come back. For the most part, books do come back to my classroom and kids do try to return them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
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  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Sent this out earlier in the year, along with an extra e-mail to one kiddo's parents who I felt had a ton...literally (with no exaggeration) got about 75-100 books back the next couple days. But hey, if they all return, and it's meaning they're reading ridiculous amounts, it's fine with me - we'll just treat it like a learning opportunity :)
    (I like the idea of a parent signature: maybe on one of my final weekly reports I'll include a spot that asks them to sign if all books are back except for the one they're currently reading)
     
  10. Christine Quimby

    Christine Quimby New Member

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    Apr 12, 2017

    I also don't keep track. A simple sign out sheet and honesty is all I do. Lost very few books. I do organize classroom library by genre, author etc. this method has worked for over 20 years. Mrsquimbyreads
     
  11. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2017

    Thanks for your advice. I haven't been tracking students who check out books either. I have a pocket card inside each book and a pocket chart with a pocket for each student next to my library. If they want to borrow a book, they take the card out out of the book and place it in their pocket on the pocket chart. I think it works okay even though I have lost a few books over the last 3 years. I mostly want a management system so when I am at the store and find good books, I can quickly look to see if I already have those books or not. Keeping track of students who check out a book would just be a nice addition if it's possible. I did some reading on apps and I found one called Book Buddy. Several teachers have given it high reviews. I'll try the free version and see if I like it. If I do, I'll upgrade to the paid version ($4.99). I'll let you all know if I like it or not as well.
     
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  12. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 17, 2017

    I've tried so so so many systems....I've honestly just resorted to the Screw It System. Kids just take books. Most come back. I figure, if they're gonna steal from me, I suppose a book isn't the worst thing they could walk off with. I don't have time to be fancy with keeping track.
     
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  13. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 18, 2017

    This is my system as well. I lose very few books--no more than a couple a year.
     
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  14. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Apr 18, 2017

    :yeahthat:
     
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  15. oneteacher

    oneteacher Rookie

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    May 2, 2017

    FourSquare, mathmagic, and MrsC, you just made me smile tonight...and I really needed that. Thanks!
     

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