To make sure that our school best meets the needs of its students, we recently created our own online library system. In addition to hours and hours of after school time clearing closet space for new books, this process involved cataloguing all of our independent reading books, labelling each book with its Lexile level, and creating an online check-in/check-out system.
Now, each ELA teacher has a scanner in his or her classroom that is used to log books online when students check them out or return them. In addition to helping us keep track of our books, this system also gives us a complete bibliography of student reading throughout the year and allows us to quickly and easily compare the levels of those books to students’ levels to make sure that students read productively.
As another result of cataloguing our library and correlating it to reading levels, our school discovered that our independent reading library did not have enough offerings for our high-level readers. Now, we are using Donors Choose grants and school book orders strategically to supply our library with the books students need, and high-level books have become one of the strengths of our library.