Monday, July 11, 2011

Storing Library Books

This is an issue I've been debating in my mind for quite awhile now. What should I do about book bins?

For my first two years I had nice, sturdy magazine holders that my students would store 5 books in per week. With twenty (or less!) students they were able to pick books on their assigned day, store them in their bins and we had no problems!

With 28 students over five kids are picking books on their assigned day it clogs up the library (the solution to this is easy--give them more/different times to pick on a day). With 28 students I didn't have enough of the plastic, sturdy magazine holders so I turned them over to a colleague and bought the white magazine holders from IKEA. 28 boxes don't fit well on the shelves where I had previously had LOTS of room for 20 boxes.

The kids destroyed the magazine holders from IKEA. I wonder if I didn't give good enough ground rules on how to treat the boxes? Were the shelves too crowded? Were the holders not durable enough? I had students for whom 5 books was not enough, but more books clog the container and "hog" books from others.

Anita (@amsgoodwin) uses the ice storage containers for her book boxes and says they have held up well. I have seen other recommendations for bags (the thought of storage for these makes me cringe). There are teachers in my school who let kids pick books when it's time to read (the time that must take!).

What should I do??


  1. I ordered GREAT book boxes from Really Good Stuff. They look like new after 2 years.

  2. I decided to do Daily 5 the week before school started last year. Because I live on a little island, with no real place to buy anything remotely close to a book bin, I went with the XL Ziploc freezer bags.

    It wasn't a perfect solution, but worked fairly well for my grade 2/3 class. The students kept their book bags in their own desks (we don't keep much in the desks so this wasn't a problem).

    The negatives would be that they can be a little bit noisy (bag crinkling) and that they will not make it for another year.

    The positives for me were that they were available at my grocery store, they were cheap, and they didn't require me to have shelf space/or other storage that I didn't have.

    I haven't decided what I will do this year. I really like the look of the plastic book files I have seen and I might think about ordering them.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!


  3. Target!!! Target has great plastic book box bins similar to the ones in really good stuff!!! I've had mine for 3 or 4 years and they've held up fantastically! I've even put them through the dishwasher! I use a 2X3 label on the front with the students' names on them.... The best part... they are $1.00!!! They are in the dollar section around "Back to School" time!!! Storage however.... a constant problem!!!
    Good luck!!!!

  4. Great ideas!! Thank you for stopping by and helping me get a step closer to figuring out my book bin conundrum!!

  5. I used XL ziplock bags that have the red zipper. In the beginning, I had the students model that the zipper part should always go in the center of the bag- this way there is no loud popping with the air. After that, the bags have been great.

    I have five tubs in the classroom, and each student know which tub they are supposed to store their bag in. It takes up very little space, and each tub has a designated librarian who passes out the bags.


  6. I love the zip-loc bag idea. I don't have a lot of money, so this sounds like and awesome solution. I am going to start Daily 5 this year in my classroom.

  7. QUICK TIP: cut a teeny tiny corner off of your baggies; no air=no popping! Happy teaching, whatever storage method you choose!