Library in a Box Project
Can students make an impact on world events? Can they make a difference?
3. Sorting Books

Throughout the Project

As books came in, they needed to be organized and sorted into major category goupings to expedite the selection process.

While students are checking out books during Media Center visits each week and during recess breaks for volunteers, students were encouraged to sort donated books by sections of the library...Everybody (picture), Nonfiction, Fiction, Biography. We quickly found that few nonfiction and biographies were donated. We turned our attention to series, author collections, and genre (ie. science fiction, mystery).

We cut long lengths of yarn to "bundle" books together to further organize books within sections. This also began to give clubs ideas of theme boxes they might develop.

As part of the regular library program, we are always developing book location skills so this activity tied directly to our curriculum. As students sorted, they talked about titles they recognized or had read, and I encouraged them to use our online catalog to check to see if we had the book in our library. If not, we developed a list of titles to purchase later for our own collection.

We also used the sorting process to weed worn books and books not appropriate to the project (ie. old workbooks). We did accept new coloring and activitiy books that could be included with other books.

I was pleasantly surprised when many of my boys discovered they enjoyed sorting books and formed a team to volunteer extra time to help me sort books. They became experts in sorting by sections and categories and this carried over later to a working knowledge of our own library shelves, an unexpected benefit from the project process.