Saturday, June 30, 2012

Classroom Library Company Review- part 2

I got out of work early today!! Yaaaay! Bloggin' time :) And yes, there really is a giveaway in the works!

So, the other day I posted my review of some supplies sent to me by the Classroom Library Company.

They have fantastic book boxes,

library bins,

and systems for organizing your classroom (or school) library, including leveled libraries. (Make sure that if you didn't see it, you check out part 1 of my review here.)

Well, they also sent me this book about classroom libraries.

It was really fantastic. It didn't self-promote (although their products would work very well with the ideas in the book) and talked very practically about what you need in a classroom library to build a community of readers.

Full of color photos, too! I could definitely see this in the teacher resource library at my school.

The catalog, though...


From the book-shaped business card (totally adorable!) and throughout the learning-focused selections, you can tell that TEACHERS are behind this company.

As a new teacher, you know I have been building my classroom library though things like library book sales and Scholastic Book Clubs, but I have to admit that even my skinny wallet is sorely tempted by this catalog. Seriously, it was worse than when I walk into a bookstore- because these aren't books sold one-by-one, but organized into groups of books I want.

The book collections you can buy from them have such an incredible range.

The books are sorted by topic, by season, by level, by grade, by teaching strategy, by author study...

And many of them come with a teacher's book to give you teaching ideas.

They come in guided reading packs, class sets, audiobooks or audiobook sets, and basically just about any way you want them.

And the books and collections will always come already sorted and labeled in a cardboard box like this, ready to slide onto a shelf if you don't have book bins.

Sorry, I know I already talked about that, but it blows my mind. Really, as someone who spent hours just sorting (and not even labeling yet!) my books, I can't believe there is a company that sends you a library so ready to go.

How great would this site be for setting up a school leveled library, like with Title I funds? No one in your school would have to volunteer to spend hours and hours setting it up, and yet they should stay organized anyway.

(Not to mention that you can use the Book Retriever app to keep track of the books checked in and out!)

And you could order these thick, nice plastic level equivalency cards and bookmarks. I love the hole in them- mine will fit exactly on my nametag, so I'll have it with me all the time!

So, yes, these book sets are easy to use. But it would be hard if they didn't already have a set you liked, right?

NOPE. They have a form specifically for Creating Your Own Custom Library- and they will walk you through the choices you have and help you make it perfect.

And if the customer service is anything like my contacts with the company, it will be fabulous.

The BEST part of all of this?

They have a 30% discount off of list price ALL THE TIME. No minimum purchase, no outrageous shipping- just a discounted price for buying through the Classroom Library Company.

And when CLC builds a book package, you can see from the examples that they include quality literature that are probably the ones you read aloud every year anyway! (Unlike the 50 Books for $50 that got me volume, but not many favorite books.)

If you check out their website, you'll notice that it's still being built- but if you click to view the virtual catalog, you can see everything they offer. And if you're anything like me, you'll go to glance through it and end up spending forty minutes poring over all of the possibilities that exactly match the things you teach!

I know that collections can be expensive, and most are still out of my personal price range at the moment. But I am really hoping that my principal won't be able to pass up the chance at Common-Core aligned additions to our library, especially when we could get specific sets to share that already come with a teacher book (just perfect for professional development).

Thanks to Classroom Library Company for sending me some free products! They sent them to me without any obligation to review them, but I couldn't help but share. Seriously... the containers seemed to be excellent quality, the organizing materials make sense for what teachers really need, and the book collections are made and shipped in a way to make teachers' lives easier- all at a discount, with personal customer service.

If you're revamping your library this summer, definitely check this company out!


  1. Wow! Thanks for posting this! I'm going to be a first year teacher in a few months so I really appreciate you talking so much about classroom libraries!


  2. Hi Jenny! I'm just stopping by to let you know that I'm giving you the Versatile Blogger award! Stop by my blog to read more about it! =)


    Third Grade's A Charm

  3. Hi Jenny,

    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Stop by my blog and check it out.

    Innovate, Create and Relate


  4. Wow everything looks great! It's so nice when books come already sorted and labeled, it takes so long when there's only one of you & hundreds of books! Thanks for sharing this!

    The Resource Room Teacher

  5. Jenny - would you like to have some codes to give away on your blog so that winners could download our Book Retriever iPhone app for free? If so, email me - melissa at classroomlibrarycompany dot com. This is an awesome post; thank you so much for saying these lovely things about us!


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