This post originally appeared on the blog Kinder Craze.

The library and reading area is an essential part of any classroom. Especially in kindergarten and the younger grades. This is the time when a love for words, books, and reading is sparked in children. I use many elements of the Daily 5 in my kindergarten classroom and it is important that my students feel comfortable using the classroom library when they select materials to add to their book boxes. Teachers are busy people and, like you, I do not have a lot of time to spare for cleaning and maintaining my library’s resources. So I set about the task of creating an organized, functional space with bright colors and clear labels that is fun and accessible to all students (and myself!). 

Today I invite you on a tour of my classroom library! I will show you how I organize my books, share links for purchasing materials and furniture that I used when I set up my library, and even tell you about my Classroom Library Labels. I have so much to share so let’s jump right in!

Creating a Cohesive Classroom Library

Most teachers have a system in place for organizing their classroom library. Like so many others, my own library contains bins for a variety of reading levels, as well as bins for a variety of seasons, holidays, and themes. While most teachers are organized, the pitfall of most libraries is a lack of cohesion. Nothing can visually derail a functional library like a mismatched set of bins in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. My own library contains several kinds of containers (in a few different colors and sizes), but it’s the careful and deliberate placement of each item in the library that makes it stand out and create a jaw-dropping effect. Notice that each row of shelves contains the same type of box across each shelf. It created a lot of clean lines to draw in they eye and eliminate clutter.

BEAUTIFUL CLASSROOM LIBRARY! this blog post has SO many tips for library organization
The longest shelf in my library contains larger baskets to hold books. There were a few categories of books in which I had an ABUNDANCE of reading materials. They simply could not fit into one of the tall skinny boxes. I added the larger baskets but made sure to use the same color scheme that already existed on the bottom shelf to reduce any unnecessary visual distractions. Student book boxes are on the top shelf. These are all the same color (green) to add an element of simplicity. Student book bins were purchased at Really Good Stuff. Sets of 12 bins can be purchased in a single color from their online store.

this blog post has SO many tips to organize your classroom library
I turned all of my bins from Really Good Stuff backwards on the shelf. This helped to maximize the pop of color and minimize book clutter.
this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization
I also laminated and used hot glue to attach labels onto each box. All labels are from my Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} set. Classroom Library Labels
Here is a view of the complete classroom library. It always looks this nice and well-organized because I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year training my students on the proper use and maintenance of our favorite classroom space. BEAUTIFUL CLASSROOM LIBRARY… this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization
Want to know where I bought all of the items in the photo? You will find a shopping guide at the bottom of this post.

Library Labels and Organization

Once the structure of your library is in place, the next big step is ORGANIZING all of those books into bins. And, even more importantly, LABELING every item in the library so it can remain organized and functional for student use. Not sure where to begin? I’ve got you covered! Every item in my own classroom library has been labeled and organized using my Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} set. This complete downloadable resource contains two sizes of box labels and coordinating book labels to help you sort and organize classroom books for virtually every reading level, season, holiday, month, and theme.

Classroom Library Labels from Kinder-Craze truly are the ultimate resource for labeling your lower elementary classroom library. this blog post has SO many tips for classroom library organization
Using the set is simple. Print the desired book bin labels and laminate. Cut each label out and attach to library bins. I recommend using hot glue to apply the laminated labels to bins. It is lasting and durable, yet peels cleanly and easily from plastic surfaces. Print coordinating book labels (formatted to print on Avery 5160 labels) and cut into strips to separate labels. Attach to each book that will be stored in the matching bin for easy and child-friendly sorting and organization.

gorgeous labels for a classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library tips to label and organize your classroom library


Where to Shop for Your Classroom Library

People stop by the blog to check out my classroom every day and I receive a TON of emails asking where I purchased many of the items seen throughout the room. Here are the answers to the most common shopping questions! Feel free to pin the image below for future reference.

Where to shop to create a classroom library like this one!
Green, yellow, and pink book bins (seen on the top and middle shelf under the windows) Really Good Stuff

Large pink and green baskets (seen on the bookcase on the left) Big Lots

Small pink and teal baskets (seen on 2nd shelf of bookcase on the right) Five Below

Green, pink, and blue magazine boxes (seen on bottom shelves)Big Lots

White bench with black fabric boxes inside IKEA
Expedit Shelf turned sideways.
UPDATE: IKEA discontinued the Expedit line. They now offer a Kallax shelf which is very similar.

Rainbow Pillows IKEA (could not find a current link online)

*NOTE: Big Lots is a great source to stock up on classroom library bins and baskets. Unfortunately, many of these items are ONLY available at Big Lots in July and August during Back to School season. Keep your eyes open and stock up early. They sell out fast!

Classroom Library Labels {Black Series} and {White Series} are available for purchase in my TpT store!

beautiful labels to organize a classroom library

Still have a question about something you saw in my classroom, answers can be found in many of my old blog posts. Click a question below to read my answer.

I am a new teacher!
How can I build my library on a limited budget?

I love the black silhouettes of children playing!
Where can I purchase those images?

Your classroom is gorgeous!
Can I please see more photos?

I love your {Black Series} labels!
What other resources are available in {Black Series}?

I love your stuff but I don’t like to use a lot of ink.
What products are available in the {White Series}?
(Classroom Library Labels are now available in the White Series!)

I want to level my library books! How do I get started?

These tools and tips will help you level your classroom library with ease!
This blog post has ALL of the answers you need to begin leveling the books in your classroom library! Stop by to find great apps and websites to help you quickly and accurately level your books.


Maria Manore Gavin: Kinder CrazeMaria Gavin is a kindergarten teacher and classroom organizer extraordinaire. She blogs at Kinder Craze, where she offers creative classroom management solutions, and she sells instructional decor in her TpT store. You can also find her on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. When she’s not in the classroom, Maria is often seen with a camera in her hand or working with her husband, Rob, on their lifestyle blog, Crazy Together