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Shelf Markers for Little Ones

I just had to pass this idea on to preschool and elementary librarians out there…so simple to make these!

A few weeks ago, I visited an international school library in Shanghai. I’ve visited maybe four other international schools in our area of China, and I’ve gotten lots of great ideas at each visit. I’m sharing this one with permission from the young lady who put all this together: Ms. Cookie Xu, the DUCKS (pre-school) Librarian at Dulwich College Shanghai.

These shelf markers are used with students in preschool through 1st grade, but I think they would work throughout the elementary school years. They are made from colored cardstock and laminated for durability. As with my school, the DUCKS classrooms are labeled by animal.

Each shelf marker is labeled with the students’ first name written in black Sharpie and printed library barcode (for the photo above, the student’s name is covered with a tissue). It is easy for students to find their own marker since they are color-coded by year group (in this case, all Year 1 markers are red) and labeled with the class mascot animal. Some students at this level are still learning to recognize their own name printed in English, so all students get to choose a sticker to personalize their marker so they can easily find their own.

Back side of the marker pictured above

Markers are reusable from year to year (next year’s Year 2 markers will be red).

Since the barcode is on the shelf marker, the marker is required for checkout. Because of this, no shelf markers should be left behind in the shelves after the class leaves (huge YAY on that!). If a marker is left behind, it is easy to see who left it and may have forgotten to checkout their book, which happens all the time, especially with the little ones.

When not in use, the shelf markers are stored in magazine files by the day their class visits the library.

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One Comment

  • I do something like this for my whole school (about 600 kids). I print their barcode and write out their name on one side. The other side I leave blank and the students get to decorate it as they wish. I then laminate it and they have a personal marker all year. (I clip them together with binder clips to keep it organized by class.) At the end of the year, I give them to the students to take home, as long as their books are all returned.


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