My classroom library is filled with baskets of books. Books about superheroes, friendship, songs, cats, dogs, sports, trucks, family, animals and people. There are non-fiction baskets by topic, baskets of rhyming books, pattern books, math books and books sorted by author. Baskets work as an organizational tool, an anchor for partner reading, a tool for extending and building reading stamina and much more. Each time I read aloud a book (about 4-5 books a day), I talk about which basket the book comes from. I may model how to put it away or ask kids to think about which basket the book could be placed in.
In past years, the baskets seemed to make it back to the shelf in their "usual" spots. The author baskets made their way back to a shelf we designated for author baskets and the poetry basket fit in a little spot on the floor that was just the perfect size for it. This year, the baskets are not making their way back to their "usual" spots so I decided to help my kids by taping a copy of the basket label onto a specific spot in the shelves. I don't think I am ever totally satisfied with how the library works in my classroom. There is always something I can tweak each year with different groups of kids. My students this year seem to be thoughtful and careful about which baskets they return books ( I think because I spent quite a bit of time modeling this and having kids think aloud about how to return to baskets). I am hoping the labels help the baskets find their way neatly to the shelf so kids can get their hands on what they need more efficiently.