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25 Best Classroom Library Ideas for Organization & Style

If you’re looking for some new ideas for your classroom library, then this post is for you! I’ll show you the best ideas from super creative teachers to create a library that is fun, inviting, cozy, organized and gets the kids excited to read! Plus, I’ll show you some of my favorite finds to make a one-of-a-kind library in your class.

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Classroom Library Decoration Ideas

Creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere will encourage your students to grab a book and enjoy independent reading. Here are a few decoration ideas for your classroom library:

  • Comfy seating: Provide a variety of seating options such as bean bags, floor cushions, or chairs with soft pillows.
  • Book Posters: Hang up posters or wall decals with motivational reading quotes, or favorite characters from books to inspire your students to read.
  • Colorful display: Use bright colors and interesting patterns to give good vibes in the space.
  • Themed corners: Create themed corners within your library to showcase various genres and spark students' interest in exploring new books.

Check out all of these classroom décor ideas and more in this post.

1 | Create a Focal Point in Your Library

beautiful display in classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | MISSCAMPBELLS_CREATORS

Madison, a second-grade teacher from Missouri created this amazing library for her students. The huge tapestry creates a focal point for the library and really makes the space, right?

You can steal this style be adding a huge tapestry to one wall in your library. There are tons of tapestries on Amazon that would look amazing in a classroom. Clear bins work great to separate the books by reading level or topic.

2 | Create a Cozy Reading Space

cozy classroom reading space
IMAGE SOURCE | MRSKELLOGGS.BUNCH

If you want to create a cozy spot that kids would love to read in take a cue from Kathy, aka Mrs. Kellogg, a fourth-grade teacher from Missouri and add string lights above a comfy sitting area.

Surround this area with tons of books and it would make the perfect spot to read. If you’re loving the huge map tapestry, you can find it here.

3 | Create a Bright Colorful Library

bright colorful reading bulletin boards
IMAGE SOURCE | TEACHINGANDUPLIFTING

This library is so bright, colorful and inviting students would love to hang out here. Montana, a fourth-grade teacher from Virginia, used white bookshelves that let the books really stand out.

If you want to re-create this look in your classroom library, you can start with these colorful pom bulletin borders and this white wood bulletin board paper to create a colorful backdrop.

4 | Create a Nature Themed Class Library

nature themed class
IMAGE SOURCE | THE_NATUREFOCUSED_TEACHER

Try bringing the outside in and create a mini nature retreat in your classroom library like Nicki, a first-grade teacher did. It’s all about the details like the tree stump table, the plants and flowers.

My favorite are these tree stump pillows that make the perfect spot to cozy up with a book. You can find the tree stump pillows here.

5 | Display a Books We’ve Read Bulletin Board

reading bulletin board idea
Image Source | mrsbaileyrussell

A books we have read bulletin board may be the perfect addition to your classroom library.  You can get it ready in advance by printing off and laminating book covers ahead of time so they are ready to go as your class reads them.

6 | Add Drama with Paint

cute classroom library
IMAGE SOURCE | TALESOFA2NDGRADETEACHER

I’m loving everything about this classroom library and book nook created by Kayla, a second-grade teacher from Las Vegas. She painted the rainbow on the wall herself. She sketched out the design on the wall first and then adjusted as she went with acrylic paint and a small paintbrush.

If you give it a try in your class remember boho rainbows don’t have to be perfect, the design is meant to be a little whimsical. You could create the book nook wall with small brush strokes in black paint.

The book nook sign was created with acrylic paint streaked downward in rainbow colors.

Hand Painted Rainbow with Lights in Class Library

rainbow painted in classroom library
IMAGE SOURCE | TALESOFA2NDGRADETEACHER

I couldn’t get enough of this amazing library so here’s another view. Adding string lights to her rainbow adds another fun touch to this library.

The world map rug in black and white matches perfectly with the black, white and rainbow color scheme she has going on.

7 | Create a March Madness Book Bracket

March Madness Book Bracket bulletin board
IMAGE SOURCE | KELCIESCLASSROOM

If you want to create a March madness book bracket in your class, you can run it just like the basketball tournament. The winner can be determined by class vote. The winner of each sweet 16 match up will go on to the elite 8 and then the final four and then of course the championship match.

Kelcie, a 3rd grade teacher from northern Alabama, matched fiction vs. nonfiction books for a fun twist on the game. This is a great way to get the kids excited about reading. You can have them guess who’ll be the final winner at the start of the competition.

8 | Create the Perfect Spot to Curl up With a Book

classroom reading nook
IMAGE SOURCE | TEACHINGFROMTHEHEART

If you want to steal the style of Anna, a first-grade teacher from Iowa, first just add a simple bench to your library.

Then add tons of fun pillows to make this the designated space and the perfect cozy spot to curl up with a book. She also added a pretty area rug to make the space feel extra homey.

9 | Incorporate Your Class Theme in Your Library

camping theme classroom
IMAGE SOURCE | MISSMONICAKEATING

If your classroom has a theme, then why not incorporate this theme in your classroom library too? That's what Monica did, a second-grade teacher from California. Her camping theme translates to her classroom library where kids are encouraged to “camp out with a good book.”

I also love how she created a book return cart that can be wheeled around the library. Plus, this is another example of dollar tree bins that look like a million bucks with pretty labels! Even more impressive, Monica is a first-year teacher that was able to build this library by asking the community for book donations.

If you want more classroom theme ideas, then you should check out this post -The Best Classroom Themes

Classroom Library Organization Ideas

There are a lot of different ways to tackle the organization of your classroom library.  The important thing is to set up a library system that works for you and your students.  Here are a few ideas to create an organized classroom library:

  • Decide on your sorting method. Some ideas are sorting by different genres, grade level, alphabetically by author’s last name or even by color.  I’ll show you examples of each of these in this post.
  • Labeling books, bins or bookshelves: Use labels or stickers on books and storage bins to indicate where each book belongs.  Labels with pictures work great for young readers. This will make it easier for students to return books to the proper place and maintain a tidy library space.
  • Using bins and containers for storage: Many teachers like to store books in plastic tubs or sturdy baskets to keep them organized and protected. Laminated labels can be attached to each container to indicate the category of books inside. Are you pro book bin or would you rather ditch the bins?  I’ll show you both in this post so you can choose your favorite method.

In this post we’ll explore all of these organizational ideas and more.

10 | Organize with Bins

classroom library organized with bins
Image Source | kindercraze

If you love to organize your classroom library with bins you’re not alone.  Don't forget to include bin labels to make it easy for students to find and return books to the correct spot.

11 | Use Dollar Store Containers to Organize Books

dollar store classroom organization
IMAGE SOURCE | JUSTBEACHYINFIRST

Jaclyn, a first-grade teacher from Northern Cal, took a trip to the Dollar Store for this assortment of containers and book baskets in pretty spring colors to go with her beach themed classroom.

She added cute labels and fun details like the good day sign and pineapple hand sanitizer to create this fun space.

12 | Or Ditch the Bins & Containers

classroom library organization system
Image Source | create_inspire_teach

This teacher decided to ditch the bins and is not looking back. Instead, she added library shelf labels, seen in the top right of the picture above.

13 | Use Color Coded Spine Labels to Organize Your Library

color coded spine labels in class library
IMAGE SOURCE | MOLLY MALOY

Molly, a fifth-grade teacher from San Diego, created these rainbow-colored classroom spine labels. She wanted her students to learn how to find books in bookstores and public libraries as well as in her class.

She faces all books with their spines out so they don’t get lost in baskets and so kids can see the title of every book.

Her fiction books are organized in alphabetical order by author’s last name and information books are organized by subject with color coded icons to help the kids find the type of books they’re interested in.

If you want to try her organization system, you can check out her library labels in her TPT store here.

14 | Fiction vs. Non-Fiction Organization

fiction vs. non-fiction library organization
Image Source | fourthestudents

This fourth-grade teacher decided to switch from grouping books by reading level to grouping them by fiction and non-fiction.  The fiction books are organized by the author’s last name and the non-fiction ones are categorized by general topic.

She made this change to try to get more books into her student’s hands.

15 | Organize by Genre

book organization by genre
Image Source | teachinganduplifting

This teacher uses these bright fun genre posters and matching labeling system to keep her classroom library on point.  She displays her best books in a variety of genres on top of the bookshelves to encourage reading.

16 | Arrange Books in Rainbow Order

rainbow order book organization for school
Image Source | adventuresofa4thgradeclassroom

This organized library makeover was inspired by the Home Edit.  If you look closely all the books are organized in rainbow order!

17 | Try a Color Dot System

classroom library organization hack
Image Source | fifthwithmssmith

This fifth-grade teacher scored these colorful dot stickers from Amazon and uses them to organize her classroom library by author.

18 | Add a Rolling Cart

classroom book rolling cart
Image Source | the_organized_classroom

A rolling cart is the perfect spot for books that need to be returned as well as a convenient spot to grab one of the monthly picks or the new titles that students will love!

19 | Maximize a Small Space

small class book nook
Image Source | lololoveslearning

Do you have a small space for your classroom library?  Take a little inspiration from this small but mighty classroom book nook.

Additional Tips for Classroom Libraries

Let's check out some more of the best tips and tricks from other teachers to create the perfect library in your class.

20 | Teach Students Library Etiquette

school library bulletin board idea
Image Source |  teachinganduplifting

It's essential to teach students how to properly handle and care for books in your classroom library. At the beginning of the year be sure to discuss the importance of treating the materials with respect.

Take a cue from this teacher and create a bulletin board that lists library etiquette, information on book spine labels, and tips to keep the library organized on a bulletin board near your class library.

21 | Have a Student Librarian Classroom Job

Introduce a "Student Librarian" as one of your classroom jobs to get students involved in taking care of the library. This student can be responsible for organizing, shelving, labeling, and managing the check-out system of the classroom library.

Rotate the position regularly so that multiple students have an opportunity to gain experience in this role.

22 | Tips for Reluctant Readers

For reluctant readers, consider stocking your library with a wide variety of engaging materials such as graphic novels, picture books, chapter books, high-interest non-fiction, and audiobooks. Offer different reading levels and genres to cater to their interests.

You can also have a dedicated section with recommendations and favorites from other students which will help motivate them to read too.

23 | Modeling a Public Library

It’s a great idea to emulate some practices of public libraries, as this can help familiarize students with the structure and expectations when they visit their local library. You can do this by organizing your books with a cataloging system such as the Dewey Decimal System and add spine labels for easy searching and navigation.

Students can practice using library resources in the familiar environment of their own classroom and develop a sense of confidence when visiting public libraries.

24 | Barcode Scanner for Classroom Library

Invest in a barcode scanner and label the books in your classroom library with barcodes. With this, students can quickly and easily check out books, monitor the inventory, and maintain organization. Plus, your students will love scanning which adds a fun touch to your class library.

25 | Establishing a Check-Out System

Create a simple check-out system that allows students to borrow books from the classroom library. A check-out chart or digital program can track which book is borrowed by whom and for how long.

This will help your sanity a little and also promotes responsibility among students while ensuring that books are returned and available for other students to enjoy.

26 | Finding Deals and Donations for Your Classroom Library

Grow your classroom library by seeking book donations from parents, local businesses, and community organizations. Connect with local libraries or book stores for information on discounts and sales. Additionally, you can check out your local Goodwill, or donation center or even consider hosting a book fair at your school to raise funds while increasing the number of available resources for your students.

27 | Considering Students' Interests and Reading Levels

Be sure to consider your students' interests and reading levels when selecting your classroom library books. Take the time to understand their preferences and incorporate this information when choosing books. It might be helpful to survey your students or hold a class discussion to identify their favorite genres, topics, or themes.

When it comes to reading levels, you want to provide books that cater to a range of abilities. Include a mix of easy, on-level, and challenging books to ensure that all students can enjoy their reading experiences. As a general guideline, children's literature experts recommend starting with at least seven books per child and adding two new books per child each year.

Don't forget to keep in mind that the best classroom library is one that evolves over time. Continually assess your library's effectiveness and update it accordingly to maintain student interest and foster a love for reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I organize my books for easy access in my classroom?

To organize your books for easy access, you can start by categorizing them based on genres, reading levels, or themes. Use color-coded labels or stickers to make these categories easily identifiable. Additionally, providing clear signage and alphabetical organization can make it simpler for students to locate specific books.

What are some creative ideas for setting up a welcoming reading space?

Creating a welcoming reading space can include comfortable seating options like bean bags, cushions, or rugs. Consider adding soft lighting, vibrant colors, and fun decorations to make the space even more inviting. You can also incorporate a reading corner display with a rotation of featured or new books to spark students' interest.

What's a good system for students to check out books?

To set up a system for students to check out books, you can use a simple pen and paper method with a library log sheet, where students write down their names, the book title, and the date borrowed. You could also consider using digital tools like mobile apps or websites to track book loans and returns, which can save time and simplify the process.

Where can I find resources to track my classroom library inventory?

There are various resources available to help you track your classroom library inventory. Some resources include online spreadsheets, mobile apps, and websites specifically designed for this purpose. These tools can help you manage book loans, maintain an up-to-date inventory, and even provide recommendations for additional books based on your existing collection.

Why should every class have a dedicated reading corner?

A dedicated reading corner encourages students to explore and engage with books independently. It provides a comfortable space for students to relax and focus on their reading.

How can I categorize my classroom books for a diverse range of readers?

Categorizing your classroom books for diverse readers involves considering multiple factors such as reading levels, interests, a wide range of topics and genres. You can use color-coded sticky labels or bins to differentiate between reading levels and create sections for various genres, themes, or subjects that cater to students' interests. Don’t forget to include a mix of fiction and non-fiction so there’s something for everyone!

My Favorite Classroom Library Finds

If you’re now inspired to create your own fun classroom library, check out some of my favorite finds below to do that.

classroom library decorations

 

CLASSROOM LIBRARY SUPPLIES | WHERE TO FIND

ONE | TEAL 6-PC BOOK BINS

TWO | GOOD BOOK TAPESTRY

THREE | TEAL ROLLING CART

FOUR | TREE STUMP PILLOW

FIVE | RELAX AND READ CLASSROOM PILLOW

SIX | METAL LIBRARY SIGN

SEVEN | BLUE BOOK TAPESTRY

EIGHT | 6-PC RAINBOW BOOK BINS

NINE | 6-PC PLASTIC STORAGE BINS

TEN | SO MANY BOOKS SO LITTLE TIME SIGN

ELEVEN | READING FOX PILLOW COVERS

TWELVE | CLASSROOM BOOK LABELS

So, now have some new ideas to help you create an epic classroom library. I hope that this post has inspired you to try something new in your class this year! If you loved this post, feel free to give it a share on your favorite social and pin your favorite ideas to your Pinterest boards.

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