Saturday 12 January 2013


Hey all! Sorry I have been absent from the blogging world for a bit! It has been a hectic first week back. I lost a student, gained a student, reviewed our daily routine and classroom rules over and over, got a surprise observation from my principal, started a Jan Brett author study, started a winter and hibernation theme, began new math stations... woo! It has been busy. But then, the sky opened this morning... a blizzard came... and we had a snow day today!! Love it. On a Friday no less! :) This doesn't happen very often, so we thank our lucky stars when it does.

I hope to be back to share some things we have been doing at school soon, but I keep forgetting to take pictures of anything. Maybe next week! For now I just wanted to share a website that I use to keep track of all of my books. I have many weaknesses when it comes to books... I must own all of them. I must keep them organized. And I can never remember if I already had that book.... so I buy it just in case! You can't pass up a good deal and a cute book!

So that's why I needed to find some way to keep track of all my books. I used to keep an excel file, but then I would have to keep it on a flash drive and could only access it on a computer. Then I tried out a few of the different apps available on iPad for keeping track of books, but I didn't really like any of them. The ones that "scanned" the barcode, only had the information for about one out of ten books I tried, so I had to manually input the information anyways. So when I came across the website, LibraryThing, I knew this was going to be the one for me. It would be cool if there was an app for it, but they haven't created one yet... But the good thing is it's just online, so I can access it on my iPhone or iPad, or on my home computer or school computer. Perfect!

LibraryThing has two account choices. A free account is good for up to 200 books. If you have more than that (like me... I'm not telling you the exact number... but it's a lot...) you can upgrade to a paid account for $10 a year or $25 for a lifetime. I went for the lifetime membership because I am planning on teaching for a longtime, so I can just keep my book list up to date for as long as I want. You can also choose to make your account private, so no one can access your book list.

The great thing about LibraryThing is that when you are putting in information about your books it has so many different categories that you add all the information you want. You can customize which categories you want to display (title, author, reviews, pages, etc.). Here is what the first page of my library looks like:

The categories that I have across the top are title, author, comments, tags, from where?, and copies. In the "comments" column I like to keep track of the guided reading level. You can figure out levels from Scholastic Book Wizard or AR Book Finder. In the "tags" column, I just input any descriptions of the book that I want. I can use this for searching for books. For example, Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes is tagged as Pete the Cat, Music, Cats, and School. So if I am looking for books with cats or about school, it will show Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes. I try and list as many categories as I can so when I am looking for books to go with my theme, it will give me the most possibilities! When I click the tags button on the top of the page, it shows all my tags and I can search by clicking any of them.

In the "from where?" column I like to put were the book is located. This makes it easy if I am looking for a certain book. I have my theme books, author books, and series books in tubs in my classroom library and my holiday books in monthly tubs that I keep in storage. You can read more about that {here}.  The last colunm is for "copies". I can keep track of how many copies of books I have, which is good for guided reading sets or buddy reading doubles. It's also good for me to know that I don't need a third copy of Pete the Cat. As much as I want it.

Also, another thing I love is the search function! You can search your own library. You can type in a title, author, or tag and it will find it for you! I use this a lot when I'm at a book store and I'm not sure if I own the book or not. I just pull out my iPhone, search for that specific Elephant & Piggie book, and then know if I do or do not have that one. Then I either put it back or add it to the pile!

Now, does this make me sound a little OCD crazy about books? I know my mom will say no, but that's because she has the same problem as me. I inherited it from her ;) Do you have a system of keeping your books orgazined? Does anyone else use LibraryThing? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a great weekend all! I hope you all stayed as warm and toasty as I did on this lovely snow day!


  1. I Love this! I am heading over to check it out:)
    Thanks for sharing!!
    The Resourceful Apple

  2. I have logged all my books into LibraryThing years ago. Whenever I get new books, I add them to my inventory. I absolutely love LibraryThing! I have over 1000 books in the system.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! As soon as I get a shipment from Scholastic Book Order or Amazon, I put it into the system! It's amazing! :)

  3. Snow Day!!!??? One of the worst things about teaching in snow days :( We all had to go to school during the blizzard on Friday. And I had walking school bus . Lucky Duck!

  4. This is AWESOME! I've been looking for something like this for a long time. Thanks for sharing!

    Kaleigh's Klassroom

  5. What!!! I never hear of this LibraryThing! I have a HUGE Excel inventory....and so the process begins :) THANK YOU for this info!