How to Create a Relevant, Easy-To-Use Biography Area in the School Library

The school library Biography area can become more student-friendly and inviting by re-organizing it into topical, curriculum-related Subjects, as many School Librarians have done with their Fiction area. Read on for a good plan of action! | No Sweat LibraryMany School Librarians have reorganized the Fiction section of the library into topical categories so students can more easily find what they like to read. Whether you call them Fiction Subjects (as I do) or genres (as do others), it is a huge boost to student reading satisfaction and to our book circulation. That success prompts us to look at other areas to make our school library more user-friendly.

The ABC order of Biography by the last name of the person written about, much like the ABC order of Fiction by author’s last name, works fine if you know exactly who you’re looking for, but if you want someone in a particular profession—like an artist or scientist or athlete or world leader—it’s not very useful.

While modern school libraries have access to online subscription services like encyclopedias and biography databases that provide search by subject, many teachers still like students to get information from a book, especially at middle and elementary levels. If subject area teachers regularly assign students a biography project, it makes sense to reorganize the Biography area into topical categories to be more student-friendly and to meet our curricular needs.


To be sure our reorganization effort is truly helpful, we need to first find out which content-area teachers give a biography assignment. This, of course, is practical for any form of organization, but since our whole purpose is to support curriculum, we need to know which disciplines, or fields of study, our teachers want students to explore.

For example, our 6th grade math teachers assign a biography project on mathematicians, while science teachers at one grade level assign scientists, and at another grade level they specify inventors. Our Texas History teachers assign a project on Texas explorers, while an English Language Arts teacher assigns her G/T classes a project on Renaissance figures in the above topics, along with politics, religion, and some of the arts.

It may occur to you, as it did to me the first time I began pulling books for these assignments, that a topical organization would make this task much easier for us—and for students. Also, it would make it much easier to figure out what we need to purchase to make our collection better. In that vein, my ELL teacher gives newcomers a biography project on U.S. presidents, so I acquired an easy-reader collection of them just for her.

Curricular support is paramount, but it’s also important to support student interests by making it easy to find the people they like to read about. My middle school boys love reading about athletes and other sports figures, whereas girls tend to prefer singers, musicians, and other performing artists. However, I discovered many of them prefer shorter books for the popular figures of the day, whereas teachers prefer longer books for projects, so planning a biography reorganization may require more than just categorizing the current collection.

In fact, after several students asked where the sports and arts biographies were, I chose to put all biography books with 100 or fewer pages into the Dewey section with the number of the subject and -092 after it. This way I provide a large collection of biography “favorites” right where students are looking for them and make the Biography area more suitable for project assignments. The added advantage is that I can afford to more regularly weed & replace these shorter, less expensive popular biographies with the current icons to keep students happy.


12 Useful Categories to Re-organize Biographies - Dividing the school library Biography collection into topical groups can boost student reading and make assigned projects easier to complete. Here are the 12 categories that work for my middle school library. | No Sweat LibraryAfter surveying teachers and students—and browsing our biography books—we can probably find 10-12 different disciplines/fields of study for dividing up the books. Here are some choices that may help you with reorganizing your biography collection:

  • Activists & Reformers
  • Religious Leaders & Philosophers
  • Politicians & World Leaders
  • Scientists & Mathematicians (I put these together since many are both)
  • Inventors & Technology Innovators
  • Business Leaders
  • Artists: Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Graphic Designers
  • Performers: Musicians, Singers, Actors, Dancers
  • Athletes & Sports Figures
  • Literary Figures: Writers, Poets, Dramatists
  • Explorers & Pioneers
  • Unique Notables (for those that don’t fit the above categories)

You may have noticed that these topical divisions are in similar order to Dewey Subjects, so they are excellent choices for reorganizing your Collected Biographies, too. Using Dewey numbers 920-928 is actually “Option A” in the DDC Handbook, and when I reorganized my 920s this way, circulation of these books significantly increased.

As with Fiction, I refer to these divisions as “Subjects” to reinforce with students how to search in the online catalog. And, instead of the librarian-specific terms disciplines/fields of study, I explain to students that the Subjects are the careers or “professions” of the people the books are about. This dual explanation is well received and understood by middle schoolers.


Once we’ve chosen our different biography subjects, we want to begin identifying books in order to organize them on the shelves. It would be very confusing to color code spine labels with transparent overlays if we do that for fiction books, and unlike spine labels for fiction subjects, it’s difficult to find commercial spine labels for biography subjects (although Demco does have a set of 6 for inventors, sports, and the various arts).

No Sweat Library Biography Signs, Shelf Labels, and Spine Labels - Make your school library Biography section more usable for students and teachers by reorganizing it into these 12 topical Subjects, easily aligned with curricular assignments and with student reading interests. | No Sweat LibraryWe might consider using spine labels for Dewey subjects, which are commercially available and few school librarians put those on Dewey books. There may be signage coordinated with those labels, different from what we already use in our Dewey area.

To save money, we could create simple text labels and coordinated signs using common computer applications. Or, with a bit more time and creativity, we can devise our own biography profession spine labels, signs, & shelf labels, customized for our collection. There are free icon images online that serve that purpose, as well as sticker templates for the spine and shelf labels.

Whichever identifying method we choose, once the books are back on the shelves, we can let teachers and students know that the biography area now has a more welcoming organization system. Even if there is no current assignment, students will enjoy browsing the new layout and checking out books they never before realized we had!

Biography Spine Labels
Have I got a deal for you! By joining my E-mail Group, you gain access to the exclusive e-Group Library which has a PDF sample sheet of these Biography Book Spine Labels for you to download, print, and try out with your students!

Need ideas for Biography projects? Stay tuned…I’m working on some great ones!

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Disability Accessibility in the School Library

Disability Accessibility in the School Library - School Librarians need to be aware of federal guidelines for disabilities and examine our facility layout for barriers that may inhibit students from access and comfort. Here's what I discovered about my School Library and how I solved the problems. #NoSweatLibraryWhat impression does your School Library make on those who enter it for the first time? Is it inviting to all students and staff?

In “3 Strategies for a First-Time School Librarian“, I cautioned new School Librarians to not make changes before they understood their school culture and how students and classes used the library environment.

However, there is one area that new and veteran School Librarians need to examine and change immediately, especially if it does not meet Federal guidelines:
Is your School Library accessible to those with disabilities?


In 1968, the federal government passed the Architectural Barriers Act, mandating that facilities built with federal funds, such as courthouses, libraries, and schools, be accessible to persons with disabilities. From that first measure up through 1996—with updates through 2008—a total of 10 different acts have been passed to address persons with disabilities:

  1. Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
  2. Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  3. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1975
  4. Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980
  5. Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984
  6. Air Carrier Access Act of 1986
  7. Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988
  8. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  9. National Voter Registration Act of 1993
  10. Telecommunications Act of 1996

Two of these Acts are of particular importance to our School Libraries:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1975/1990/1997/2004 mandating a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990/2008, “a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.”


Public schools, including the school library, must provide a least restrictive learning environment for disabled students. While the physical structures of our school libraries have been built or updated to align with ADA Guidelines, the interior arrangement of our bookcases, tables & chairs, computers, and other furniture or decorative items may inhibit free access for those with wheelchairs or other assistive devices.

When I arrived at my middle school library, I noticed major accessibility problems that needed to be eliminated for our 2 students in wheelchairs. You may also need to eliminate barriers in these areas of your school library:

  • entry/exit doorways
  • walkways
  • approach to tables, computers, and other seating
  • aisles between bookcases
  • moving from one aisle into another
  • reaching books on shelves
  • the circulation counter.

The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design provided by the Department of Justice are very detailed about how much room is required for various wheelchair accessible areas, including illustrations that I’ve inserted below. (click to enlarge)

Entry/Exit Doorways

404.2.4 Maneuvering Clearances. Minimum maneuvering clearances at doors and gates shall comply with 404.2.4. Maneuvering clearances shall extend the full width of the doorway and the required latch side or hinge side clearance.
404.2.4.1 Swinging Doors and Gates. Swinging doors and gates shall have maneuvering clearances complying with Table 404.2.4.1.

Clearance around doors must be 48-60 inches, depending on which way our library doors open. That means we don’t want to put displays, tables, or even portable signage too close to our entrance/exit doorways.


403.5.1 Clear Width. Except as provided in 403.5.2 and 403.5.3, the clear width of walking surfaces shall be 36 inches minimum.

403.5.1 Clear Width. Except as provided in 403.5.2 and 403.5.3, the clear width of walking surfaces shall be 36 inches minimum.In my school library, the areas between tables were too narrow when students were seated, but because there was ample wheelchair access around the end tables on either side of the library, I did not consider this a barrier to be eliminated. Make sure, when your library tables are fully seated, that a wheelchair can still maneuver to the other areas of the library.

Approach to Tables, Computers, and Other Seating

802.1.3 Depth. Where a wheelchair space can be entered from the front or rear, the wheelchair space shall be 48 inches deep minimum. … public schools must provide learning environments with counters and workspaces accommodating students seated in wheelchairs.

802.1.3 Depth. Where a wheelchair space can be entered from the front or rear, the wheelchair space shall be 48 inches deep minimum. … public schools must provide learning environments with counters and workspaces accommodating students seated in wheelchairs.In my school library the table area was quite wide with computer stations at one side. There was more than 48 inches from the computer counter to the chairs at the adjoining table, so the computer stations were accessible to wheelchairs, as were the 2 tables on that side of the library.

In our magazine area I arranged chairs so there was a wide walkway to the magazines and allowed for a wheelchair to pull up to the conversation area.

A recent blog post on We Are Teachers, How to Create Inclusive Classroom Spaces for Students With Physical Disabilities, had this recommendation:

2. Make the Whole Classroom Accessible
Mobility does not simply involve access between the student’s desk and the door to the classroom. … Therefore, ensure students with disabilities are able to move around the whole classroom so that they can participate in all workstation and group-work activities. In particular, aim to ensure all pathways, desks, and computer workstations are accessible for students with physical disabilities.

Aisles Between Bookcases

225.2.2 Self-Service Shelving. Self-service shelves shall be located on an accessible route complying with 402. Self-service shelves include, but are not limited to, library, store, or post office shelves.

My initial situation was 8 lines of paired bookcases angled out from a curved back wall. The aisles were unevenly spread across the space, with some quite wide, but others so narrow that 2 students couldn’t enter at the same time, let alone a wheelchair.

225.2.2 Self-Service Shelving. Self-service shelves shall be located on an accessible route complying with 402. Self-service shelves include, but are not limited to, library, store, or post office shelves.Wheelchairs need to have “full maneuverability radius” between bookcases. The minimum width for a wheelchair is 36 inches, but since other students would be in the aisles, I wanted to allow 48 inches, which is the minimum width for a wheelchair and an ambulatory person. Since my aisles would abut a wall, I also needed to allow a minimum turning radius of 60 inches.

Moving from One Aisle into Another

403.5.2 Clear Width at Turn. Where the accessible route makes a 180 degree turn around an element which is less than 48 inches wide, clear width shall be 42 inches minimum approaching the turn, 48 inches minimum at the turn and 42 inches minimum leaving the turn.

In my school library the shelving area jutted far into the table area, so there was a very narrow walkway between the ends of bookcases and the tables, allowing little room to maneuver from aisle to aisle, especially for our wheelchair students.

403.5.2 Clear Width at Turn. Where the accessible route makes a 180 degree turn around an element which is less than 48 inches wide, clear width shall be 42 inches minimum approaching the turn, 48 inches minimum at the turn and 42 inches minimum leaving the turn.The space between the ends of bookcases and any other solid object needs to allow for a wheelchair to emerge from the aisle, turn & traverse to the next aisle, then turn again and enter. So, I needed to allow at least 4 feet from the end of bookcases to other furniture so a wheelchair could move from one aisle to another.

Reaching Books on Shelves

308.2 Forward Reach.
308.2.1 Unobstructed. Where a forward reach is unobstructed, the high forward reach shall be 48 inches maximum and the low forward reach shall be 15 inches minimum above the finish floor or ground.

Our school library bookcases are, what I consider, the perfect height for middle school students: 5 feet with room for 4 shelves. I did slightly lower the shelves so the top shelf was easily reached by wheelchair students. I realized how advantageous this decision was when I began to need a scooter chair to move around, and shelving books on that top shelf was not difficult at all!

308.2 Forward Reach. 308.2.1 Unobstructed. Where a forward reach is unobstructed, the high forward reach shall be 48 inches maximum and the low forward reach shall be 15 inches minimum above the finish floor or ground.Because we have an ample number of cases, I decided to not use the bottom shelves for books, which would be too low for students in wheelchairs. Instead I lined the bottom shelves in fiction and part of Dewey with our extra slanted shelves, providing a face-out display area for new or featured books. This brought the top of a book up to the 15″ minimum.

The above mentioned article on We Are Teachers also included the recommendation to “3. Make All Materials Accessible.”  Especially for an elementary school library, that might mean using bins for books instead of lining them up on shelves.

Access to the Circulation Counter

904 Check-Out Aisles and Sales and Service Counters
…variant-height circulation desks,
904.4.1 Parallel Approach. A portion of the counter surface that is 36 inches long minimum and 36 inches high maximum above the finish floor shall be provided. A clear floor or ground space complying with 305 shall be positioned for a parallel approach adjacent to the 36 inch minimum length of counter.

Our circulation counter had the required lower counter, but because the computer monitor and keyboard were there, it prevented a person in a wheelchair being easily visible and able to reach the actual checkout scanner.

A wireless scanner made it much easier for our wheelchair-bound students to check out library materials.A wireless keypad made it much easier for our wheelchair-bound students to check out library materials.To solve this problem, we ordered a wireless scanner and a wireless keypad so our wheelchair-bound students could check out library materials more easily. Other students also appreciated this. Often I find that differentiation for one group of students benefits everyone. It has helped me to always look for the simplest and most accommodating means to teach in and manage the school library.


For those wanting to examine your own school library, the ADA Library Accessibility Checklist from Project Enable can help you assess for barriers within your facility.

Is Your School Library Accessible for Students with Disabilities? - ADA Guidelines are very detailed about how much space is required for wheelchair access in our school library. We can use resources in this article to assess our own facility for possible barriers. #NoSweatLibraryTo solve the accessibility problems in my school library, I carefully measured the shelving area and drew a new plan to ensure federally-mandated wheelchair accessibility. I decided to eliminate the gaps along the back wall & between bookcase pairs, since they served no positive purpose, and there would be ample maneuverability within the new aisles.

I put strips of masking tape on the carpet to mark new bookcase locations, and spent the next month moving them. The results were better than expected:

  • The aisles were more evenly spaced and had plenty of room, with 4 feet at the front of each aisle and 5-6 feet across the back wall.
  • Students in wheelchairs could easily enter the aisles, maneuver within the aisles, reach books, and move from one aisle to another, even with other students browsing the area.
  • The continuous line of bookcases prevented the previous problem of “hide & seek” and we gained 6 feet of space in the table area, allowing for the needed wider walkways along the bookcase ends & the back tables, yet maintaining accessible walkways between the front tables and the row of OPAC computers.

Intellectual Access

A School Library Research article about accessibility, “School Librarians as Ambassadors of Inclusive Information Access for Students with Disabilities” advocates “a space that is physically accessible, information that is intellectually accessible, specialized instruction that meets the needs of each individual student.”

Intellectual access should also be inclusive and multimodal or multi-encoded, providing a multisensory experience. Signage, normally encoded in one mode (print), should be encoded in two modes (e.g., large print, and color picture or symbol) or three modes (e.g., large print, and color picture or symbol, and Braille or other texture) to be accessible to a larger group of students. In terms of navigating the school library by means of signs and posters, multimodal or multi-encoded intellectual access is more inclusive to the special needs of students with disabilities (Farmer 2009).

What is Intellectual Accessibility and How is Your School Library? - The School Library must provide a least restrictive learning environment for disabled students, and that includes the intellectual accessibility of information. To be truly inclusive, we must provide multimodal signage so our students can find just what they want and need. Learn more ... #NoSweatLibraryWhen I arrived at my 2-year-old school library, there was no signage at all. I created a variety of signage that includes images, so students can more easily locate the books they need, especially in the Dewey area. This is another example of adjustments for accessibility that benefits all students.

You can find my Fiction & Dewey signage products at No Sweat Library, my TeachersPayTeachers store.

For better intellectual access I also changed the location of specific groups of books in the library collection:

  • Reference was on the opposite side of the library from the computers, so using those books during projects would be inconvenient, and with Fiction next to the computers, students browsing for a book would distract students working at computers. Switching these 2 areas made a huge difference in accessing both, even though I substantially reduced the reference section in later years.
  • Later on, I discovered many students are confused by the similarity of alpha spine labels on Fiction and Biography books—which were across the aisle from each other. I moved the alpha Biography to shelves between the 2 numbered areas, Reference and Dewey. This helped not only with locating the materials, but no longer did my shelving volunteers get FIC and BIO books mixed together, nor REF and Dewey numbers!

In addition to the physical facility, take a look at your virtual library—your School Library Website. Is it accessible to students with visual impairments? A.D.A. recommends all of your images include ALT or “alternative” text. For viewers who use audio screen readers or braille displays, an image without ALT text is simply “image” and they have no way of knowing what is displayed. When the image is a link to another webpage, a disabled visitor is at a particular disadvantage if no ALT tag is provided—they don’t know what the link is or where it will take them.

Intellectual access also applies to our library book collection. Can your disabled students find relevant reading material? One excellent resource that helps school librarians increase intellectual access for students with disabilities is the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, which honors “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” There is a list of winners back to its inception in 2004, as well as a 9-page bibliography of books published between 2000 and 2008 about ‘the disability experience’. (From this site I learned 1 out of 7 Americans have a disability!)

2019 Winners & Honors for Teen, Middle School, and Young Children
Anger is a Gift - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Teen Winner
(Don't) Call Me Crazy - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Teen Honors
Mason Buttle - 2019 Schneider Family Middle School Book Award Winner
The Collectors - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Middle School Honors
Rescue & Jessica - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Young Children Honors
The Remember Balloon - 2019 Schneider Family Book Award Young Children Honors


I hope we all take a fresh look at our school library facility with an eye to its accessibility for students with disabilities, initially for wheelchair access. I was fortunate to already have 2 students in wheelchairs to open my eyes, and in later years we gained 4 other students who used hearing, visual, or ambulatory assistance. Because I’d already done a thorough examination of our facility and collection, these students were able to fully participate in all our library lessons and activities.

May I suggest you head to the nurse’s office, borrow their wheelchair, and put on a pair of sunglasses to simulate impaired vision. Begin by opening your library door and entering. Take a deep breath. Tour the entire space, browse for and choose books, and do a book checkout. You may be surprised at what you’ve always taken for granted!

Anticipate disabilities that aren’t obvious, such as health impairments. Students with asthma are susceptible to chemicals and fragrances, so don’t use air diffusers or potpourri. Clean up dust-catchers and mold traps, such as stuffed animals, plants, and portable fans.  Read my post about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

While our National School Library Standards don’t specifically address disability accessibility, one of our Shared Foundations is Include. We can all make sure our school libraries are fully accessible to include everyone.

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12 Great Tips to Help Students, Teachers, & the School Librarian

12 Great Tips to Help Students, Teachers, & the School Librarian - Here are 12 tips and tricks that can help you manage the school library and promote it—and the School Librarian—to students and teachers. Remember, the most positive Library Promotion we can do is through our actions rather than our words! #NoSweatLibraryDuring my dozen plus years as a School Librarian I’ve picked up several ideas from colleagues, from my listservs, and from racking my brain to find solutions to a problem.

Not only have those pointers helped with managing the library, they’re also good library—and librarian—advocacy. Whenever we do something memorable for students or for teachers, it builds rapport and promotes our school library services. It’s good to remember that the most positive Library Promotion we can do is through our actions rather than our words!

Now, let me share with you 12 of the best of these tips and tricks.


  1. For School Library Media Month, create a patron called “Winner! Winner!” and check out a few dozen books to that patron. Re-shelve the books (still checked out). When a student checks out one of the books, a pop-up message tells you “This item is checked out to Winner! Winner!” The student ‘winner’ gets a little prize like a bookmark, poster, or acceptable snack item.
    (Idea from Michelle Burger LMS, Beach Elementary School, Portland, OR)
  2. I use a laser pointer to direct students a location they’re having trouble finding. By pointing to the aisle and the sign on the end of a bookcase, I can quickly guide them when I’m busy with others at the circulation desk or in a different area of the library.
    linebreakA Tip to Help Students: Create Series Signs of Book Covers - Students like to read a book series in order, so help them out by making signs with the book covers in order and attaching them to the pertinent shelves. #NoSweatLibrary
  3. Help students track series books with signs showing the covers of the books in order. I make our signs with a simple slide presentation app. When printing, use options for multiple slides per page, then laminate and tape the signs to the inside backs or uprights of shelves.
  4. Purposeful decorative signage – Even a “fun” poster, can serve a purpose when placed where it relates to content. Here’s what I do:
    • DK Eyewitness books come with posters, so I write the relevant Dewey numbers on the posters and put them on the ends of related bookcases or on the wall at the end of the aisle. The colorful posters invite students to find those books on the shelves and serve as location reminders.
    • At the end of our 973 U.S. History and Historical America aisle are posters of the Statue of Liberty and Texas cattle brands. Both posters tell students it’s the location of U.S. and Texas History fiction & Dewey books.
    • On the ends of the Spanish Fiction bookcase is a reading promotion poster written “en Español”—both a locator and language practice.


  1. A Tip to Help Teachers: Create Customized Passes to the Library - Create a personalized library pass for every teacher, laminate them, & teachers can use a dry-erase marker to write on them. When students return, the teacher just wipes off the pass. Join my email list & you can download the editable template FREE! #NoSweatLibraryLaminated Library Passes – At the start of each school year I create a Library Pass for each classroom teacher. (4 passes fit on a sheet of letter-size paper.) Since they’re laminated, teachers use a dry-erase marker to write student names and their purpose for being sent to the library. When students return, the teacher just wipes off the pass. Attaching a magnetic or stick-on clip allows the teacher to attach it to the wall near the door. You can get the template by joining my mailing list!
    (I also create 6 numbered & laminated passes for me to send students to their locker for overdue books. All 6 fit on a sheet of letter-size paper.)
  2. Teacher’s CAB: Classroom Accessories Bin
    When I arrived at my school library I found several dozen black plastic magazine bins. Since we have an online magazine database service, I don’t keep print copies so what to do with all these bins?
    I realized they would be a good way to dispense small items that teachers use every year. I labeled a bin for each classroom and distribute them at the start of the school year; teachers turn them in at the end of the year and I place them atop the bookcases for the summer. They’re very popular with teachers, who keep them handy by their desks. The items in the bin are:

    • a teacher dictionary
    • TV remote control
    • my Quik-flip Teacher’s Guide to the Library
    • their laminated Library Pass mentioned above
    • their room’s color-coded plastic hall pass with extra inserts
    • blank USB drive to back up important documents from classroom computer (purchased in bulk by the principal)
    • select teachers get a digital camera to share with other hallway teachers

    When I dispense the CAB, I also include a Classroom Inventory sheet listing the A/V/D equipment in their classroom and any barcoded teaching materials checked out to them for the year.


  1. To remove permanent marker from whiteboards, shelves, tables, etc., go over it with a dry-erase marker. When dry, just erase with a dry cloth or dry erase spray cleaner and a cloth.
  2. Use yellow highlighter to write “Original” on the master of a print document; it keeps you (and others) from using it and the yellow doesn’t show up when you make new copies.
  3. Keep mouses and headphones from being taken off computers by securing cables with a plastic self-locking tie and attaching to piece of hardware on the back of the CPU case.
  4. To keep track of pieces of A/V/D equipment, take a digital photo of the item with all its accessories. Create a document with the photo and label the accessories. Print & laminate it, then attach to the main piece of equipment so whoever checks it out can see all the parts to be returned.
  5. Classroom Patrons – In my state, education law precludes teachers being financially responsible for items used by students. So, for books or other items that students will use in the classroom, I created a “Classroom Number [X]” user account for each classroom. I check out items to that account to track them and document circulation, then discharge them when returned. If items are missing I do notify the teachers and they usually find them; however, if an item is still missing at the end of the school year, I just charge it to Missing Items.
    I also use Classroom user accounts to check out items that are barcoded but permanently in classrooms, such as projector screens, TVs, whiteboards, and presentation carts. This allows me to keep a permanent inventory of these items in my system without associating them to teachers who may come and go.

  6. I purchased letter-size acrylic self-stick sign holders and put them inside the windows of the library doors. Various printed signs facing outward alert students and teachers to that day’s library activities and, facing inside, I put reminders for students as they walk out the door. I store the signs right in the holders, and since they’re open on 3 sides it’s easy to change signs.
    image of library door signs

I hope your find these tips and tricks helpful in your own School Library. If you’ve discovered other great ideas, please share them with the rest of us in the comments below!

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