Ramona Recommends Library Reveal PLUS Giveaway!

Hi Friends!

Hello! I am SO excited to link up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made-It to share my BIG BIG library reveal. I almost couldn't make it and wanted to post earlier! ha I L.O.V.E books. Going to the library and bookstore as a child were on the top of my list. When I started to collect children's literature books, I never knew I would have the collection I have today. All of these books are kept at home. They go to school when I want to use them in a lesson (remember there is a picture book for EVERY standard). I also use them when reading to my nephew or sharing with my friends at Ramona Recommends! Are you ready for that number? Are you sure? You might want to sit down. Ok, I will tell you on the count of 3: 1....2....3....

Yes, I Ramona Recommends, love books so much that I need to buy at least 3 every time I walk into Barnes and Nobel. 
Let's get started. This is the before.... Oh I cringe at the site of these before pictures up on my blog. ha!

 It was OUT OF CONTROL. Books were having to be stacked because I did not have room on my shelves. When readers or friends would ask for recommendations, I would spend at least 15 mins looking for that ONE book. There was no rhyme or reason to my mess. When I started my first teaching job, my mom helped me organize my books by author's last name. That was back when I had about 600 hundred books.... you get the picture. This mess was driving me nuts, but I did not have the time or storage to fix it. UNTIL Summer 2014 :) 

The process started Sunday, July 27th. It took an in entire week for my amazing home library to be complete. First, I had to move some furniture around because I would be bringing two wonderful new bookcases into my office. Luckily, my mom offered to help. I love to organize, but sometimes I like a second opinion for the final layout. 

MY first two bookcases are from when my mom taught High School English, but they are NO WHERE to be found online. Then last October, I bought a foldable bookcase from Walmart. Oh! My! That was a D.I.A.S.T.E.R to put together. I still have nightmares. I looked everywhere online to find something I could pick up in store. I checked Office Max, Staples, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Bed Bath and Beyond. NONE of them had what I was looking for. Well some did, but I just wasn't digging the price tag of 250.00 dollars! Then after dinner on Sunday evening, I looked at The Containers Store Website and the magic gem showed up on the screen. Two Beautiful White Foldable Bookcases 28 inches long and... wait for it.... ASSEMBLED and IN STORE! Cue the Angels! They were a little bit more money than Walmart's brand, but THEY WERE ALREADY PUT TOGETHER and IN STORE... this lady was sold! :) 

On Monday, my mom and I drove up to the Container Store and purchased 2 of these pretties WITH a TEACHER DISCOUNT! :) 

Then came time to start moving books to couches, tables, and really anywhere besides my library area. Proceed with Caution......

I started with picture books because they take up much of my library. I organized my picture books by subject. That made most sense to me and it worked really well. Some of the subjects are: Math, Family, Friends, Holidays, and Food. I made stacks of all the different subjects on my office room floor.
As I progressed, I wrote on a piece of paper the different subjects. Then it was time to start placing each subject into my library. :) As I placed each group, I wrote  on my planning paper to help for labeling. 

Here is one section done :) 

Picture books done!

Now time for chapter books. I organized them by genre. There were a few books that I forgot their genres and used Scholastic Book Wizard
Then it was time to start organizing them onto shelves. Since I had taken most of my bookcase space, I bought plastic bins from Target to house chapter books. Chapter books house quite well in those bins because they are light weight. I started to put picture books in and they just keep falling over. 

I learned a lot about my own favorite genres from my organizational week. I heart historical fiction and girlie books! :) #notashocker

I wanted to create a bulletin board above my library that said, "Open the Magic". I also wanted to print some of my favorite picture book quotes for the board. I went to Paper Source and selected 4 sheets of gift wrap to use as my bulletin board. Then I ran by Lakeshore and picked up pink polka dot borders. I LOVE IT! Here is a sneak peek of it going up. 
So EASY to put up! I just measured my bookcase length. To help keep the paper straight, I put a small thumb tack at the top of each paper. Then I overlapped them about a quarter of an inch. Once the paper was up, I began with the border. Such a fun and different bulletin board. Once I am back in the classroom, I plan to do many mini bulletin boards with paper from Paper Source 

A library must be labeled! I created a labeling system for my library. I made pink cards for my picture books and green cards for my chapter books. I also added A-Z labels and VERY in-depth labels for each subject. Interested? It's in my shop!

 Check out my cute pink bedazzled "I'm Checked Out" stick. Funny story- I went to Home Depot and explained I was a teacher and asked for 36 sticks. The man looked at me like WOAHHH! But my smile persuaded his decision. BEST IDEA- I was trying to figure out how to label each section, but there wasn't enough room to hang each labeling card. My mom suggested the painting sticks and I taped (later-i'm going to super glue) the subject and genre cards to the sticks which are tucked into the bookshelves.

I finished my final library touch on Sunday, August 3rd,2014. I am so happy with my library makeover! I can't wait to do more amazing book recommendations starting in September! It is going to be such a fun adventure. Since photography is not my thing, I had my best friend come over and shoot a couple of pictures. I showed her a picture I had taken of the same shot- we both laughed- clearly she was needed and clearly, I will stick to education!

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

libraries, back to school. quotes, organziation

Here is a sneak peek at my office area too! 

 The adorable Starburst candy dish was made by my friend Beth at A Kindergarten Life for Me
The yummy pencil cookie was made my friend Megan from @bettiesbakeshop

Now time for a FUN giveaway! Thank you for all your support to Ramona Recommends. This journey has been such a wonderful experience, and I can't wait to keep on growing Ramona Recommends. Enter in below to win my Classroom Library Labels AND Winner's Choice -3 Sets of Melonheadz Clip Art! :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you have any questions? Leave a Comment! :)  


  1. Holy Moly Court! That looks like a TON of work, but it is SO wonderful now! Love love love it!

  2. Wow! Courtney! You bring organization to a whole new level!!! And SO BEAUTIFUL! You have inspired me to tackle my garage that is filled with oh so much classroom stuff..and books!

  3. Looks great - love the paint stick idea!

  4. WOW! That was quite the project to tackle! Everything looks great and I'm sure you've already been enjoying your fancy shmancy new system! It's all so darling and I envy your working space!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  5. Well, I bet that feels GREAT! Looks better and will work better for everyone. Good time well spent! Thanks for sharing. Kathleen

  6. Courtney, this looks absolutely amazing! I couldn't even have imagined something more perfect! You did an outstanding job! What an inspiration you are!

  7. Your library looks amazing! I have an obsession with books as well and I'm glad I'm not the only one. Even my coworkers call me a book hoarder!

    I had no idea Container Store honored a teacher discount! So glad you mentioned that! That store is amazing.

    Oh and I love your library labels!!! And this giveaway!!!
    Fourth Grade Lemonade

  8. This was so inspiring!
    Thanks for sharing your hard work with us.
    The Tutu Teacher

  9. This looks amazing Courtney!! I remember being inspired by your library 5 years ago and now look at it! I'm in awe.
    Cardy :)

  10. wow this is so cool. You should just make it a public library up in there.. :)

  11. I love that labels on paint sticks idea for organizing your book sections. I am going to have to go smile at the man at the paint store!

    Your space re-design and all of the precious books in it are fabulous!

  12. You did such a wonderful job! You must have a huge office to fit all those books. Over 1,000!! I can't believe it.


  13. Thanks for a great post! I love everything about your office!
    More Than Math by Mo

  14. This is such a great post! I absolutely love your library organization. QUESTION! Where did you get the "Lord show me the way.." poster? I LOVE it!!

    A Teachable Teacher

  15. WOW Courtney!!! What a huge amount of work. It is just so beautiful. Way to go!!!!

  16. I have been working on mine for two weeks....still not done. Yours looks awesome. Maybe it is a good think I am not done. Getting more ideas

    Terri Izatt

  17. I love it!! I have about this many books too!!

  18. How am I just reading this now hon?!?! This is AMAZING!


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