Simplify Your Classroom Library!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Book Retriever app can simplify your classroom library system by automating your book check out (and in!) system.

I have always had a hard time with my classroom library system. Don't get me wrong - it's very organized and has lots of books for the kiddos - but I have always had a hard time with my check out system. I've tried putting little cards in the books, having students check them out by numbers, and so on...but it's been hard keeping track of when the books come in. By the end of the year, I am always short books. They simply seem to vanish. (smile)

I decided to use technology to help me simplify my system!  I downloaded the Book Retriever app found HERE  and spent a good part of the day entering my books.

The first step is to add your books. Yep. This is what took a LOT of time. I had to enter each. stinkin'. book. one. by. one. (Hint...this would be a great parent job!)  You can add books by scanning the bar code on the back of your books. It works quickly...when the books are in the system. My problem? I have a lot of old books that either do not have bar codes at all, are not popular with today's kids, or have not been entered in SOMEONE's system yet. That's okay. I was determined to get all my books in the system. Since many of my books didn't even have bar codes, I found a free bar code generator online HERE, printed out the codes, and glued them to the back of my books. Now they are all coded!

Once this system is complete, your books are EASY to check in and out. 

The books that are in the system have great information including lexile and even AR points.  Here is a sample of the books once they are entered:

So what's next?  When students want to check out a book, they simply use the iPad or device to scan the barcode using the app. They will choose their name (that you have also entered into the system) and the app will check out the book to them with a due date. The teacher can easily see which books are checked out to which students with the due dates. 

Reading online, the reviews are mixed for the app.  The negative reviews all state that the books take a lot of time to enter into the system. That's true. But once they are, they are there. I hope that overall it will be a good use of my time! It was only $0.99 - a good deal to me. 

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