Setting Up a Home Library

Are you familiar with We Teach?  Amy, the founder of teachmama where she shares ways she sneaks learning into every day with her family, being the awesome teachmama that she is, created We Teach about a month ago.  It is growing by leaps and bounds!  We Teach is a place where parents and educators can come together to share ideas for teaching our children.  There is a group for everyone there and anyone is invited to join.  So, if you aren’t a member already, I suggest you rush right over there and join!  You’ll be happy you did!

Yesterday on We Teach, Amy posted a question about how we organize our children’s books.  This, of course, inspired a post for me!  I have been mulling over this idea for a post for a while, so without further a due, here are tips for setting up a home library:

  1. Make books accessible for your child.  Keep them low and easy to reach.
  2. Consider placing books in easy to move baskets, instead of standing them up on a bookshelf.  Placing them in baskets makes it easier for your child to find a book he/she may be looking for.  It’s much easier for a small child to choose a book by looking at its cover, rather than the spine.  If you need the space, consider placing some books upright and others laying flat, as you see below.

    Seven year old son's bookshelf - only partial

  3. Consider organizing books by genre or topic.  This is also made easier by baskets.  Each basket can hold its own genre of books!  If your children are old enough, have them help you sort books and determine genre.
  4. Include periodicals in your home library.  Children love receiving mail and periodicals provide additional opportunities for children to read for different purposes.
  5. Don’t feel confined to one area!  Place “mini-libraries” on every floor (or room) of your house.  We have small book holders in our basement playroom, bookshelves in our first floor family room, and each child has bookshelves (overflowing with books!) in their bedrooms.

Do you have any innovative ways you organize your home library?  I would love to hear how others use their space for books!

©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved.  All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.


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10 Responses to “Setting Up a Home Library”

  1. Lori Beverage Says:

    I’ve been organizing the books in our house for almost 20 years now. Our “library room” is actually only a small quantity of the books in our house. There are books in every room, except the bathroom and hallway. — One things I’ve done is categorize our books in the library into History and Science. And then I’ve broken down the history into periods of history, from Ancient then through the 1900s by decades…to the present. The Science books are by kind of science (space, plants, animals, human body, chemistry etc)— And then on a totally different set of shelves I’ve placed all of our “Science Nature Guide” kind of books…animals, leaves, trees, plants, shells, birds, bugs, star charts etc…and with those, there are baskets with the microscopes, magnifying glasses, binoculars, petri dishes, telescopes, old bird’s nests, shells, any “hands on” science things. The books have, over the years, inspired “DOing” and the “Doing” has often inspired a look into the guides. These two things go hand-in-hand. Grouping THINGS with the books that they go with push learning and exploration even further.

    • Links to Literacy Says:

      Lori, your home library sounds fabulous! I love the idea of baskets of items that inspire reading to learn more. I have actually thought of doing something like that around here, especially since my kids are still young. And Julie, we don’t actually keep reading material available in the bathroom (though it was in there when I was growing up), but my kids have been known to ask for reading material if they end up being in there for a while! LOL

  2. Julie Niles Petersen Says:

    And don’t forget to keep books in the bathroom–a place where lots of reading gets done if reading material is available. 🙂

  3. Lori Beverage Says:

    🙂 In a house with 6 people and 1 bathroom. I have to pass on keeping them there. This does not, however keep people from carrying them in with them! 🙂

  4. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by books4yourchild: RT @linkstoliteracy: Setting Up a Home Library: #literacy #familyliteracy…

  5. Robert Braxton Says:

    Our grand- is approaching a thousand days old. Let the kid do the entire organizing job. My opinion.

  6. In Case You Missed It Blog Says:

    […] Setting Up a Home Library Links to Literacy, March 30 […]

  7. amy @teachmama Says:

    SO glad you mentioned ‘we teach’ here and am grateful to have your expertise in the forum!

    Looking forward to more idea sharing, learning, and collaborating as the months–and years–go on!

    cheers, friend–

  8. Holiday Gift Giving Guide 2010 – Literacy Games and Activities « Literacy Toolbox Says:

    […] and learning.  While, I don’t actually have this product (yet!), those of you who have read my home library post will probably understand why and how this will be so useful to us!  My children will find this […]

  9. Best of 2010: A Year in Review on Literacy Toolbox « Literacy Toolbox Says:

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