Given the influx of tech gadgets books remain an integral part of child development. When I first opened my child care home we had about 200 books. They were kept on shelves in the main play area where they were available for the children to read throughout the day.
Over the years our collection has grown and so has its need for space. Considering how limited our space is finding an adequate location for the books has been a challenge. Eventually I decided it was necessary to store the majority of the books and have just a small selection of books available at one time.
The predominant issue that this scenario posed was the time it took for me to choose which books to display. Sometimes I would pick out all the books with a common theme like ‘dinosaurs’. We had a lot of dinosaur books and if I had them out then there wasn’t room for any other books so if you didn’t like dinosaurs there were no books for you to read.
Selecting books based on a theme was also a problem for emergent curriculum program since I sorted through and chose the books when the children were not here. Then when they arrived I’d discover that they had a totally different ‘theme’ in mind.
So a couple years ago I spent a weekend sorting and organizing all the books into twelve groups – one for each month. Holiday and seasonal themed books were grouped in their appropriate month. The remaining books were distributed evenly among the months. Each month contains a variety of books – fiction and resource, toddler to school-age, small and large, paperback and hardcover – something for everyone.
When not in use they are stored like this;
Looking up the stairs to the library loft you see a few of the books available;
Up in the loft there is space to relax alone or share a story with a few friends;
There are books outside of the loft too because we know that books are used often during dramatic play and other activities too. There is always a lot of excitement when the new books come out. They bring back memories and ignite new interests.
It always makes me smile when the children hold their books like this;
Ensuring that everyone can see the pictures as you read the story to them and making story time a wonderful socially interactive experience.