Librarians: Tips for Labeling Books

With Accelerated Reader, you have access to over 180,000 quizzes (including Reading Practice, Vocabulary Practice, Recorded Voice, Literacy Skills, and Spanish) and new quizzes as they’re developed. This means nearly every book in your library may be an Accelerated Reader book! By labeling both your existing books and new books as they arrive, you will create an extensive Accelerated Reader library to meet the needs and interests of every student.

To label or not?

Schools and libraries must decide how to label books so that students can access Accelerated Reader quiz information. Options include:

No additional labeling

If books are not labeled with book level information, students need strategies (subject, length, text size and using the five finger rule) for selecting books. Once a book is selected, students use one of these online resources to confirm that the book is ZPD-appropriate: the school’s online catalog (if Accelerated Reader information is included there),, or Accelerated Reader.

  • Advantages: Book selection is directed toward authentic selection criteria.
  • Disadvantages: Can make it harder for poor readers to make good choices. All readers have to perform this additional (and potentially time-consuming) step.

Label all books at once using Accelerated Reader Bookguide

Use Accelerated Reader Bookguide to import library catalog MARC records and print labels for all titles in the collection.

Labeling thousands of books will require a lot of assistance and should be considered a schoolwide project. Recruit help: faculty and staff, parents, community members, and older students. Library media specialists, with the support of school administration, can coordinate this massive effort, making it efficient and effective.

  • Advantages: Students can select books more quickly, because all books with Accelerated Reader quizzes will be labeled. People involved in the labeling efforts will likely have greater ownership in the Accelerated Reader program/process.
  • Disadvantages: Without concerted effort and planning, this could become an overwhelming task for a too-small group of people.

Label books as time allows

Label one shelf at a time. Train staff and volunteers to print labels individually from the software. Communicate this plan to the school community and provide an estimated completion date. Invite parents and community members to assist in accelerating this process.

  • Advantages: A library media specialist is able to manage this project relative to other library responsibilities. The school community understands the scope and time-frame for this task.
  • Disadvantages: This project may take months to complete. Meanwhile, students must use other means to find Accelerated Reader quiz information.

Label books as needed

Set up a labeling station and procedure for labeling books as needed with student assistance. If a book does not have an Accelerated Reader label, students or staff look up the Accelerated Reader information and write it in the book (using pencil on the inside cover or on a sticky note placed on the inside cover). When the book is returned, create a label for it before it is reshelved.

  • Advantages: Students are actively involved in the labeling process.
  • Disadvantages: The information transferred may be inaccurate and/or hard to read.

Information on Book Labels

Use book labels to provide the quiz number, points, interest level, and book level information. You decide how much of this information is printed on the label.

Label Sizes

Book labels printed from Accelerated Reader or Accelerated Reader Bookguide are 1" x 2 5/8", or Avery® L5160; there are 30 labels per sheet.

Creating Labels for New Books

As you get new books, you can use Accelerated Reader or Accelerated Reader Bookguide to create labels.

Accelerated Reader

  • Allows you to specify how many labels you want to print per title when you select the quizzes individually.
  • Allows you to select multiple titles by selecting the titles one at a time.

Accelerated Reader Bookguide

  • Keeps track of the books you own. Use Accelerated Reader Bookguide to print labels for the books in a particular library.

Creating Labels with Accelerated Reader

See Labels - Book Report.

Creating Labels with Accelerated Reader Bookguide

For step-by-step instructions, see Printing Book Labels in the Accelerated Reader Bookguide help.

Book Labeling Tips

  • Provide the Accelerated Reader quiz number, interest level, book level, and points. To do this:
    • Create your own labels using Accelerated Reader or Accelerated Reader Bookguide.
    • Purchase preprinted labels from resellers.
    • Have a rubber stamp made with these fields, stamp the inside of the book, and write in the specific information.
    • Write the Accelerated Reader quiz number, interest level, book level, and points on the inside cover of the book.
  • Label books as they are returned to the library, before they are reshelved.
  • Label new books as you purchase them.
  • Order new books with Accelerated Reader labels from book vendors.
  • Place the label in the same place on every book. In primary libraries, labels are often placed on book spines for easy access. Libraries for older students often place the labels inside the front or back covers to allow greater privacy for developing readers.
  • Cover labels with transparent tape to hold them in place.
  • Attach a sticker (for example, a star) to identify a book as an Accelerated Reader book.
  • Label the most popular books first.
  • Next, label fiction books. (They are easier to label since the books are usually in alphabetical order by author.)
    1. Do one shelf at a time.
    2. Take the books off the shelf and carry to the computer.
    3. Look up each book individually. Use the software to search by title or author.
    4. Print and attach the labels.
    5. Return the books to the shelf.
  • Close the library for a period of time and bring in school aides, volunteers, or students to help.
  • Instead of a faculty meeting, give teachers one sheet of labels and make them responsible for labeling the appropriate books.
  • Get graduate students or high-school students to help for credit as part of an independent study or community service program.
  • Sponsor a family Accelerated Reader night. Teach parents about Accelerated Reader, display examples of books at each level, let students take quizzes, and get families to help label books.
  • Contact senior centers, community groups, church groups, and so forth for volunteers. (Many groups require members to volunteer a certain number of hours.)
  • Hire help from a temporary employment agency.
  • If you remain open during the labeling process, put some "police tape" or "construction" signs across a set of shelves and move the tape or signs as you work.
  • If your Accelerated Reader information comes from your library management software, note that older MARC records may still have pre-ATOS levels.
  • This is a great opportunity to do some collection management. Check on the condition, age, and accuracy of books.