10 Steps to a Paperless Classroom Library System

Our Classroom Library system is paperless! My students and I are enjoying this system with ease!

There are a variety of ways to create a paperless classroom library, the system I decided to implement was using a QR Code and a Google Form.

The benefits are:

  1. No paper copies per student housed in a binder or something similar.
  2. Students NEVER forget to check-in or check-out a book since they LOVE scanning the QR Code.
  3. I have an INSTANT and NEAT record of what books students are reading and can track a book down if needed.
  4. I have INSTANT access to the genre and types of books my students tend to read most often, giving me insight on what types of books to add to our classroom library.

Here’s a peek into a snapshot of my Google Sheet, created from the use of the Google Form from students, where I can view quickly and easily the books that students are checking-in or checking-out of my classroom library! I love that it automatically updates too and creates a running list.

The set up is pretty quick and easy, here are a few things you need prior to starting the process.

  • A Google Account to access Google Forms (you can also use Microsoft Forms).
  • A device like a tablet or phone to scan the QR Code. You will need to go to the devices App store and download a Free QR Code Scanner (there are a variety to choose from).
  • Once you have the device and app set up, check it with your school WiFi. If you have any issues I suggest asking your Technology Coordinator or Media Specialist.
  • Find a QR Code Generator site you like. I always use: www.qrstuff.com

(Side note on obtaining devices: I post on social media to family friends asking for old phones/tablets/devices for my classroom. Somebody always recently upgraded and is happy to donate! Or, you can search online in Facebook Marketplace for a device to purchase. Tell them you are a teacher and it is for the kids in your classroom, they’ll usually always negotiate the price!)

Next you will want to follow these directions to set up your Google Form (there are variations that you can adjust to fit your needs):

  1. Once logged in to Google hover over the App choices and click on the following: My Drive, New, Google Forms, From a Template.


2. Scroll through the Template Gallery and pick what you like! (You could of chosen to create one, but I find picking a template easier!)


3. You will now create your new Google Form. Begin by changing the title of your form. Prior to editing the questions section of the form, you will need to know exactly what you would like included on your Google Form for students to complete (Examples- Name, Date, Book Title, Author, Checking Out or Checking In, etc…) Then edit the questions, you can make the questions short responses, multiple choice, move them around, etc… Just start playing with it! You can click on the question to delete or just edit, or click to add. Once you have the form the way you like it, click the “eye” to preview. You can also exit preview to continue editing if needed.


4. When you are ready you will want to preview your form and check it. This will allow you to see what the students will fill out when scanning the QR Code.


5. To check student responses (exit out of preview) and click on responses, then the green box to create spreadsheet.


6. After you click create spreadsheet you will want to click create new spreadsheet and then create. From here it will open a spreadsheet in Google called a Google Sheet (like Microsoft Excel). This Google Sheet will always be available to view in your Google Drive. This is how you as the teacher will keep track of your classroom library books. It will always be updated for you when you view it. Once in Google Sheet, I like to adjust the columns and bold the titles to make it more reader friendly for me (see my example photo at the top of this post to view how I adjusted my columns in the spreadsheet). Decide how you would like to check your sheet, how often and so on.


7. After your form is set up to your liking and you have your Google Sheet set up for tracking purposes, you will need to get the URL of the form you created: Click send, click link icon, click shorten URL and then click copy.


8. Then open a new window in your browser to the QR Code Generator you picked. I use QR Stuff because it is free. Under #1, make sure Website URL is checked, then paste the URL link of the form you created, you can change the color of the QR Code if you would like and download.


9. A QR Code will be generated. You will want to save this to your computer.


10. Then create a blank document however you feel comfortable (Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint, etc…) and insert the image of the QR Code you saved. You will want to print and save this document. I have 2 copies up in my Classroom Library. You can make these whole pages like I did or something smaller that fits your needs. You may also download my template for FREE by clicking HERE or below on the photo and insert your saved QR Code!

I hope this post helps you eliminate a little more paper in your classroom along with implementing an easily managed system to track your classroom books!

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  • Reply
    Kim Barton
    February 13, 2018 at 4:13 am

    How do I download the template? It’s asking for a password.

    • Reply
      February 19, 2018 at 1:24 am

      The password is in the Newsletter that has been emailed to you!

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