BookSource: Classroom Library Organzier
What it is: Book Source has a pretty incredible tool called the Classroom Library Organizer. A FREE account on Classroom Organizer let’s you digitally build and keep track of your classroom library, import BookSource orders, import student rosters, track book conditions, generate reports, and more. All of this equals one thing for your classroom library: organization. For an organizational freak like me this is heaven! It makes it SO easy to track your classroom library, check in and out books to students, keep them located where they are supposed to be located in your classroom. Basically it is a miracle worker (not to overstate it or anything). As a teacher you can create book rules (like what you are prompted to enter in about a book upon return or how many days books can be checked out), you can choose which fields to display (including reading levels, word counts and interest level), and which fields to display to students. You can even view reports about students reading habits. Pretty handy. And free. Did I mention free?
So, how does this nifty little tool work? You won’t be spending your time typing in information about each and every book you own, that would be WAY too tedious…not to mention time consuming. Classroom Organizer comes with a handy little (free) app for your smart phone. Search “BookSource” in your app store, download the free app and you are armed and ready to go. The app lets you scan ISBN barcodes on the back of books. In a few seconds you have a complete entry for the book including the name of the book, the author, reading level, interest level, etc. This gets automatically added to your classroom library. You can even set a location on the book so that it is returned to exactly the location it came from. SO smart!
Now for the downside: The site is not very explanatory. You have to play around a bit to find what you are looking for and figure it out. There are no “about” pages or even cues from the home page about what all the tool does. As a blogger and a teacher, I find that annoying. I don’t always have time to sit and figure a tool out without a little pizazz that says “don’t forget to look at me!”. It is a small thing really, the tool isn’t hard to use at all, just not very consumer friendly…it doesn’t sell itself until you play.
How to integrate BookSource Classroom Organizer into the classroom: Do you have a classroom library? Do you like organization? Enough said!
We are using this as our only library tracking system at Anastasis since we are so small. I started adding books to our library today. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, enlist some of your students to scan books as part of their classroom job or clean up time.
Students can use Classroom Organizer to help them find books to read. They can search by interest level, reading level, author, etc.
Tips: If you use BookSource there are even more built in goodies to help you out!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using BookSource Classroom Organizer in your classroom!