Booksource Classrooms: How to Set Up and Organize Your Classroom Library (Part 2) - Keep Writing Miss G (2023)

If you missed it, mylast blog entryit was about how a classroom library management tool took me from cluttered and chaotic shelves to a streamlined, organized and readable library system. Booksource Classroom was the free tool that changed the game for me and my students, and I want to share it with all of you too! If you missed the last post, pleasego back thereto find out how I got started, what the tool has changed for me, and the most essential information to get started with Booksource. This post will focus on how to set up Booksource and start using it in your classroom!

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Let's start! Here's how to set up Booksource and prepare it for your readers:

How to configure Booksource?

I'm glad you asked! The Booksource Classroom platform is very easy to use and they actually have a lot of information/tutorials for you.this postand yourscomplete help centerBut here's a quick overview of the steps to set up Booksource.

First, sign up for aFree account.

You will need to create a classroom ID, a classroom password, and a separate teacher-only password. I suggest making the classroom ID/password easy for students to remember. For example: "MissGBooks" as your ID.

Digitize classroom library books.

The first task in setting up Booksource is to scan all your books. While you can do this on the website or with a handheld scanner, I recommend using the app to scan your books. it's super fast. As I mentioned inFirst comment, search for "Booksource" in the app store and it should appear. The app is actually called "Classroom Organizer" (with the green icon). Don't be put off by the bad reviews, because you only need the app to scan books (and in fact you don't even need the app to do that if you have a scanner and prefer it that way).

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Adjust the settings.

Determine if you want student passwords. (I do not use). If you want to enable this feature, go to "Settings" in the left menu and scroll down. You can also edit any other settings at this point. If you want to track overdue books and specify a time interval, turn this on. To control what statistics you and your students see for your library, scroll down to 'Show/Hide Data'. For example, I hide AR/lexile data because I don't believe in tagging books that way.

Create groups and add students.

When you're ready, create "groups" for your class periods. You can do this by selecting "Students" from the menu on the left, going to "Edit Groups" and pressing the "Add" button on the right. Then when you have class lists, add your students. You can do this manually by clicking "Add" and entering each student's first name, last initial, and group, OR you can click "Import" and follow the instructions to import student lists from an Excel spreadsheet.

You are ready to go!

Once your books and students are uploaded, you're ready to go! Before showing students how to use the platform, I recommend logging in as a student to see what their perspective is. I also recommend exploring the teacher dashboard and all the other resources that Booksource offers. I'll explain many of these features in the final blog post of this series, so stay tuned.

Do students need to create an account?

No! Honestly, this is the best part: a student account is not required to set up Booksource! Managing a million account usernames and passwords is stressful, especially in high school. Although you have the option to enable student passwords, the system works perfectly without them. As I mentioned inpart 1, all students need is access to the website. No app, no extension, no account, no password... just a website for students. 🙂

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How do students search for books on the site?

Students can search for books by title using the search bar in the upper right corner of the student screen. If you have books categorized by genre, they can search for them, but I don't have that set up, so I can't vouch for what it looks like.

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What is the book buying process like? It's fast?

Super fast! As I described inthe first post, students will log into Booksource ClassroomHEREand enter your class ID and password. They will then be asked to choose their "group" (class period) and select their name. (If you have student passwords set up, they will need to enter those as well.)

Students will then need to find their book through the search bar. From there, they'll click on the text and select "Pay." It takes less than a minute, but make sure students have easy access to the site. I recommend having it linked to your LMS and asking students to bookmark it.

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What do students do to return a book?

To return, students follow the same login process. Instead of clicking "Pick Up and Read," they'll click "Return Books." Students select the book, click "return", rate the book 5 stars (if you have this feature set), then click "return" again. When students return a book online, they also return it to our bin in the classroom library.

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How does it work from the student's point of view?

To do anything in Booksource Classroom, students will need to log in to the website. Again, they do NOT need the app. When students log in to Booksource, they will have a split screen: "Teacher" on the left and "Student" on the right. (Fear not: the teacher's side is password protected, so only you can access it.) From there, students will click on your group/class and then on your name. If you have student passwords set up, students will need to enter their passwords. After that, everything is self-explanatory, as I described in the previous questions about the payment/return processes.

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Can you organize by genre?

You can, but you must manually enter the gender. I didn't get to do that and I'm not sure I ever will. My physical library is organized by genre, so students find books there and access them on Booksource, not the other way around.

For students, Booksource isn't really a research tool; it's simply a way to check out and return books. For its part, it is much more: it is an organizational tool with excellent reporting functions, library audits, suggestions and much more.

If your classroom library is organized by genre, or if your students generally lean toward their favorite genres, check out these genre-based book recommendation handouts forquitemihigh school.These unique features include fun reader personality tests that automatically provide readers with book recommendations tailored to their interests. Inside each paperback, readers will find 6 featured high-interest books, complete with spoiler-free summaries. In the back, students can check out over 25 additional recommendations, so they don't run out of books to read!

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How are the books organized in the system? Is it alphabetical?

Yes, the books appear in alphabetical order when you open the library (in teacher or student view). However, you can search and filter the view of the library based on your preferences. More on that in the next post in this series!

Does it match systems like AR or provide Lexile level?

When you upload books to your Booksource library, you can see each text's interest level, lexile, AR level/point value, and guided reading level (if applicable). I've never used AR (and never will), so I don't know much more than that!

Do you allow all students to use the program, or does a classroom librarian do this for students?

I allow all students to check out and return books at Booksource. It works well because each student is responsible for their payment activity, so I can easily identify where books have been lost and check in with the appropriate students.

How long does it take to set up Booksource?

This is such a good question that I put it to the test and got ready to scan books and set things up in Booksource. Here's what I learned and the time commitment you can expect:

  • Scan inventory:It took me 2 minutes and 15 seconds to scan 15 books, about 10 seconds per book (using the app's scanner). With a class library of over 700 books, this means that in total I spent just over 2 hours scanning books. Not bad when you consider that it's preloaded and then done in chunks of a few minutes here and there.
  • Group configuration:It takes seconds to form groups!
  • Loading students:If you enter students manually, it will take just under 5 minutes per class (assuming a class of 30). If you load ready, it's much faster!
  • Configuration setting:It only takes a few minutes to check/uncheck different features.

Let's say you have a classroom library with 300 books + 6 classes of 30 students. You only need 1.5 hours to set it all up. When you consider that scanning books (the most time-consuming task) is stupid and easy, that's not a bad thing for setting up a complete system that will last forever.

I hope this post helps you get started organizing your classroom library with Booksource.

Don't forget I'll go into more detail about Booksource's features and answer some final questions in a future blog post, so stay tuned! While you wait, configure Booksource so you're ready to fully explore the tool until final publication. Let me know if you have any questions after starting the setup or if there's anything you'd like to see answered in part 3 of this blog series on Booksource!

While you wait for part 3, do you want to steal my system to hook students to books?

No offense to your beautiful newly organized classroom library, but your books are no good without a system that hooks your readers into reading them! One of my favorite and easiest ways to do it isBook trailer hammers!Book previews expose students to books in a way their bookshelves simply can't, so bring them to life on the big screen with book previews!

if you showa Book Trailer every Tuesday,will expose its readers to 36 new books by the end of the year. That's 36 opportunities for readers to find their next favorite read. And all you have to do is press play!

To make Book Trailer Tuesday even easier for you, I've organizedFREE master link lists for the entire year,for both middle school and high school. you can clickHEREto get these freebies or register with the box below. Your readers will thank you later!

Looking for more resources to help your students fall in love with reading? You'll love the following book recommendation systems that put good books in the hands of your readers:

If you liked this post, take a look at the following:

  • Booksource Classroom: all about this free library verification system
  • 5 Ways to Help Students Fall in Love with Reading
  • 10 reasons to try the first chapter on Friday
  • Book Trailer Tuesday: How to get students hooked on books in 3 minutes!
  • Book Recommendation Brochures: Frequently Asked Questions
  • 15 ways to use book recommendation brochures
  • 10 Ways to Use Book Recommendation Posters in the ELA Classroom

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