How To Protect Your Classroom Library

It’s that time of year that we start to picture our summer vacation. We might begin to make plans, schedule appointments and even book our vacation time. Summer can come up quickly, so I’ve made a list of a few things I try to do before summer creeps up on you! I try to tackle one project at a time. In this post,  I’m sharing a few ideas for how to protect your classroom library.

Inside My Classroom Library

The first thing I do to prepare for summer is take a long hard look at my classroom library.   I’ve invested quite a bit and had a mentor that invested quite a bit. I want my library to stay nice for years to come. With these tips, I can proudly say after 11 years, I’ve barely had to get rid of ANY books. My kids know how I am about my library and they don’t play around when it comes to taking care of books! It’s important to reflect on how the classroom library is set up. Is it functioning? Do the students take care of your classroom library books?
Classroom library management

How To Clean Your Classroom Library

The first step to protect your classroom library is to clean it!! This is something I’ve always done as I’ve seen needed, but I don’t recall ever pulling all of the books out and cleaning them until I met my new media specialist. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I walked in to the library, and all I could see was books standing open. The fresh lemon scent went through the air and made everything seem so clean! I asked her “What are you doing?”, she replied “Cleaning books”. She was almost puzzled like duh, what does it look like. So I watched her and quickly adapted this system. We have sure bonded over our love for books and how to teach students how to TREAT the books.
Before I start to clean my books, I go through and pull out all of the major repairs. I determine if they can be salvaged or if they should be tossed. I use cleaning wipes and packing tape to do most of my repairs.
The first step to clean your books: Take you cleaning wipe out of the container and ring it out. This seems like another “duh” moment, but you have to do this step. If you use the cleaning wipe while it is dripping wet, you will ruin your books. I repeat, you will ruin your books!
After I wipe them down very thoroughly, I let them air out for a good bit. I might only do a few categories a day or before I leave. The next day, I’ll put them back in their basket. This way, they have plenty of time to dry before I stack them on top of each other.

Here’s a little proof that with a little love, your old and dirty books, can look very good again!

Once I’ve cleaned my books, I want to make sure they are all in the right baskets, so I reorganize them in order to pack up. I will wrap each stack of books up with large construction paper to pack them up. I’ve moved a lot due to my husband’s service, and this is the way that has worked best for me over the years!  I also check to make sure each book has the right label. You can read more about how I organize my classroom library here.  It’s important to look at how other teachers set up their classroom libraries!
I’ll be back to share another tip for how to maintain your classroom library setup.
Thank you for following along!

3 thoughts on “How To Protect Your Classroom Library”

  1. With all the allergies (more and more are touch reactions) and major flu strains, I can't let the books stay nasty. As they come in the library, we try to clean those that are needed before reshelving them. A win is when a student brings one to our attention!

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