Updated: May 31
On the fourth day of Tech-mas, my EdTechs gave to me…
Booksource to organize my classroom library!
Show Me the Books!
Using Booksource to Organize Your Classroom Library!
If you’re a bibliophile like I am, you probably already have a ton of books in your class library. Books that you love, even if you haven’t read them yet! Books that you can’t wait for your students to read and enjoy. Heck, you have probably spent a small fortune on your book collection! My class library is something that I have grown over my career and add to every year; it is something that I am proud of and want to make last.
However, despite my love for my books, I despise the time it takes to deal with book pockets, class library check out cards, and pocket charts. I tried different strategies - library managers, a “library card box”, pocket charts with more cards inside - but I quickly found myself more and more frustrated that my students never actually used the cards that I painstakingly put inside each of the Chevron pockets (that I specifically bought to stick into the backs of my class library books). Instead, cards would disappear, pockets would fall out, and students inevitably had three copies of the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid hiding in their desks. I loved my library, but hated the system. Sound familiar?
Enter in one of my true lifesavers: Booksource Classroom Organizer. With this FREE program, simply create an account on your desktop and download the app (if you choose) to your phone (Classroom Organizer). Once you have the app, you can simply SCAN the barcode of a book and it gloriously UPLOADS DIRECTLY INTO YOUR LIBRARY DATABASE. Already, the angels are singing, right? But how do students get the books checked out? In the desktop version, you can add your class roster (no passwords are required). Then when students want to check out a book, one of my student librarians checks the book out using the class website on their Chromebooks! Within the same system, I can see who has which book and for how long. Students can also rate the book and write a review once they are done. Books can be scanned into the system, checked out and returned via the app or the desktop browser (you can just add ISBN barcode numbers if you want to type them in manually rather than use the app). You can even add reading levels directly to the website!
With this online checkout, books are quickly placed in my students’ hands and students take responsibility for the library itself. (Pro tip: I teach my first two librarians how to use the student version of the site posted in Google Classroom (you’ll want to provide them with the log-in for the student access), so make sure that you are not providing your own desktop password; create a separate password for this website). Students can check in and out books and my student librarians can actually track where my books are in the classroom. Once I rotate my class jobs, those librarians train the next ones. Being treated as real librarians with access to the online system makes this the most sought after class jobs in my classroom.
My students are fostering their desire to read, are eager to see what books are being recommended by their peers, and I’m no longer finding library book pockets on the floor! But the very best part is this: Through Booksource Classroom Organizer, I am building a community of readers - students who not only want to read, but are also proud of the literacy community that they are a part of!
Stay techie and keep reading!
6th Grade Teacher
Sam Vaughn Elementary