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How to videos


The following videos, along with the library grid, will walk you through successfully implementing the Monarch Method. 

It is important for me to emphasize that I did not close the library once to get this method into place. It took three years because we kept changing the system to best meet the needs of our students. By keeping it open we were able to observe how the system worked and tweak it accordingly. You may be able to bypass some of the steps I used by utilizing the grid to identify which areas will go together.


  • Creating a welcoming entrance is important to draw people into your library.
  • This video walks through what I did to make all students and staff feel comfortable and welcomed into our library.
  • Delves into how to get more readers in your doors - and actually checking out books!
  • On of our first changes was putting Graphic Novels and Manga in the front of the library, because it immediately grabs the attention of kids who may not otherwise be big readers.
  • Introduces shelving by series/character first, then author for Graphic Novels
  • Shows how we kept our library organized while transitioning to the Monarch Method
  • End Caps and shelf labels are used to help students find books by telling them what section they are in, as well as what they can expect to find in that section!
  • Explains why our science and technology sections are right next to each other.
  • We mix our fiction and non-fiction sections - this makes it easier for kids to find books on a topic they may be interested in, by consolidating topics into one place. The color of our spine labels tells the reader whether the book is fiction, non-fiction, a biography, an autobiography, or poetry.
  • Our students were constantly using our history section for research papers, but struggled to find the books they needed - so we moved them up front!
  • In the Monarch Method, our history section is in chronological order, so that if a student wanted to write a paper on the atomic bomb, they no longer have to go to 3+ different sections. All the information they would need would be in the 1940s.
  • We split up the sections by time period (pre-america, american timeline, world timeline) then added subsections as needed. 
  • As opposed to having current events in the 300s, and history in the 900s, our current events section is directly following the history timeline. 
  • This makes more sense because, if you think about it, current events are really just tomorrow's history timeline books.
  • While we were transitioning, we never closed the library. To make this work, we used temporary labels (colored stickers) on the bindings. 
  • These labels did not harm the books, and told the shelvers which section a book belonged in.
  • We used different colors for each spine label to indicate to the students what a book was classified as. 
  • We used orange for fiction, dark blue for biographies, light blue for autobiographies & memoirs, clear for non-fiction, and red for poetry. You are welcome to choose whichever colors you think would work best in your library - this is simply an example. 
  • We differentiated between biographies and autobiographies because some of our teachers wanted their students reading one or the other specifically.