Book Buddy App: Must Have for Teachers and Librarians

I have been so excited to share an AMAZING iPhone/iPod/iPad app with you! It is called Book Buddy, but it may as well be called the Best Book Cataloging App Ever :). And no they didn’t pay me to say it- I truly just love it! In the digital age that we live in- and the easy access most of us to have technology- it just makes sense to have a digital database of all our books. It will make lesson planning easier as well as assisting you in trying to locate that one copy of a book you know you have SOMEWHERE.


Here are some of Book Buddy‘s great features….

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home screen of the Book Buddy app

1. You can easily add books to your library 3 ways: scanning the barcode, searching in an online database, or manually adding the books. You may think- why would I want to manually add books? Well, sometimes a book might not be in the database. OR you may want to add some of your classroom’s created books. Cute, right? It makes those homemade books feel more professional. 🙂

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2. While lots of books have pictures of the titles already stored in the database, there are exceptions. No worries though- YOU can take a picture of the book! This is another feature that you could use when adding those books made by your kiddos.

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3. After a book is added to your library that is in the database, there is a link to an online summary as well as reviews. This is also a great tool in getting additional background on the authors. There are also some links if you need to purchase more copies of the book.

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4. One of my favorite features of this app is the tagging system. You are able to easily add tags to each book that is in your Book Buddy library. You are able to sort and search books by tags. For example, after scanning “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” into my library, I added the following tags: “animals”, “breakfast”, “comical”, “level k”, “pigs”, “problem solving”, and “sequencing”. Now, when I am teaching a unit on pigs, I just look up all my books with the “pig” tag and this book and others will show up. No more searching through all the book tubs for titles! I just love this- especially when you have books that can be placed in various places in your classroom/home. Which bring me to the next reason I love this app….

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a few of the tags I added

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a look at some of the books listed under the tag “Pigs”

5. This is a great app to keep track of those leveled libraries! While it doesn’t look up the guided or lexile reading levels for you, if you know the level already simply add it as a tag. (I used a free app called Literacy Leveler to look up levels on some of my books). So if you are wanting to know all the level N books in your classroom, simply look up the tag. It will let you know all the titles despite the location (super useful if you have books everywhere- in baskets, themed tubs, bookshelves, etc) Which also brings me to the next reason I love this app….

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6.  You can sort your books into categories. Now you may wonder, how could I utilize this feature? Books that are scanned into this app are automatically placed in the “unfiled” section of your library and will remain there until you place them in a category. I have created categories for all the different locations where I may have books. Some of my categories are “Animal Tub”, “Biography Tub”, “Craft Room Bookshelf”, “Leveled Library”, and “Professional” (plus a TON more).  To add a book to a category, I go to my list of unfiled books, click on a book title, click on “move book” and then select the category. While this app does have the option of adding a physical location of each of your books, I found the categories much faster to add and it will be faster to edit the location- because lets face it, we are constantly moving books around. It is also easier to view all the titles in each of my tubs quickly while in the home screen of this app.

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a list of the unfiled books in my library

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7. You can sort your library by title, author, genre, rating, and more! A great way if you know you want a last minute author study of Eric Carle or want to see what historical fiction literature you can share with your students.

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8. If you have every spent hours at an expensive bookstore drooling over books with the intent to go home and find them for cheaper on Amazon (not that I have ever done that or anything) this will help you out! You can scan in books while at the store and add them to your wish list. Then the next time someone offers to get you a book for your library you can let them know specific titles right away. You can also printout a list of your wish list items to hand out to parents at conferences! 🙂 I LOVE it!!!!

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9. Book Buddy has a simple yet effective check out system. Just click on the title of the book, click edit, and then change the “loaned out” status from none to either an existing contact or create a new contact. There is no way to import a class list, but to be honest I didn’t have students checking out books to take home too often. You can view your list of loaned out books from the home screen, and you can also export a list of those books that are borrowed, upload it to dropbox, and print. Imagine how nice that would be to show parents at conferences- they would not only see what books their child needs to bring back but they could see what the book actually looks like- which might prove to be useful in locating it :). Which brings me to the final reason I love this app….

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10. You can back up your library. In this digital age of technology crashes- having a backup of data is a MUST. Especially if you have spent hours adding this data! You can also export and print your entire library- or just parts of the library. Like if I wanted a printout of all my Level M books so I could laminate it and place it next to my level M book tub, I would just go to settings, utilities, export, and then update the “My Books” section to the tag “Level M”. Click on export and there you go! If you have access to an airprinter you can print your wishlist, borrowed items, or an entire list of all books in your library. I think exporting them to Dropbox works better because you can export specific lists. And one thing I love about the lists is that there is a cute little thumbnail of the picture with information such as who it’s currently loaned out to, what category it’s in, and the different tags.

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There are so many other features too- you can recommend books in your library via twitter, facebook, or email. You can also keep track of books that you have borrowed from someone else. There is the ability to import files (haven’t tried this yet), mark books that are your favorites, add books to a series, and give books a rating (up to 5 stars). There is a free version, which I played around with until I felt comfortable paying for the upgrade- in my opinion the pro version is well worth the money!

Before I started scanning in 1500 books, I did my research. This app does everything I need and more- hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy Teaching

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19 thoughts on “Book Buddy App: Must Have for Teachers and Librarians

  1. Carmen

    Hello Home Teacher – I found your post on Book Buddy because I downloaded the app and couldn’t figure it out. I’m glad I found your post. I want to organize my classroom library and your tips are very helpful. I have a question. I downloaded the app on my iphone as well as my ipad. Do you know how to sinc the app so whatever I save on my phone app is also on my ipad app? It seems to me they should sinc automatically, but that is not the case. If you don’t know the answer do you know where I can look? I’d be thankful for any help. Feeling frustrated.

    Reply
    1. ktoponce Post author

      Hello! Thanks for reading my blog post! 🙂 Before syncing, I would set up a dropbox account if you don’t have one. It should make the process easier.
      To sync between two devices, I would try exporting your files (go under the settings tab- it looks like a gear on the bottom right hand side of the app). You can then export your files with dropbox. On your second device,go back to the settings tab, and this time click on import. Make sure your dropbox account is linked up, then you can just select the file and import it.
      I hope this works- I haven’t synced 2 devices before- please let me know if this works!
      Have a great day and good luck!! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Aubrey

    This app developer needs to hire you to write some instructional materials for this product.

    Your write up was extremely helpful.

    Reply
  3. Josh

    Great tips, thank you! I thought that is worth mentioning that ‘Reading Level’ fields are now supported, so this might be helpful for you and anyone reading this post.

    Reply
    1. ktoponce Post author

      Great question! I haven’t had students use the app- it has been more of a catalog for me. If I were to use it for students, there is a “loaned out” feature you can click on under each book title. The title will show up under the “loaned out” tab on the main menu. When the book is returned either a student librarian, parent volunteer, or teacher can click on the book and select “return from loaned”. Easy Peasy!

      Reply
  4. Joanna Davis

    This looks amazing and may just be the solution to a library problem I’ve been having! I’m wondering if multiple users can be signed into the account at the same time, from different phones or iPads? We are setting up libraries in multiple classrooms, but want to allow students to check out books from libraries outside their own classroom.

    Reply
  5. Book Nerd

    Hi!
    I’m considering buying this app (have been shopping around, reading reviews, and came across this post).
    Any idea at the limitations? Is there a limit to the amount of books you can catalog? I can’t seem to find that information anywhere.

    I’ve got an enormous (and growing) collection, and I would hate to start using this app (which sounds amazing!) and end up having to move it to another app in a year from now.

    Thanks!
    Book Nerd

    Reply
    1. ktoponce Post author

      I have not heard of any limitations! However I have not checked out any apps that may have been released more recently… there could be something even better out there. But for my needs this app really is PERFECT!I love that I can backup my data to dropbox so I will always have a backup record- because it would stink if you lost your data after adding an enormous amount of books!

      Reply
    2. Kimico Support

      Hi!
      The free version has 50 book limit while the paid version has no book limit.

      We strongly recommend on starting with the free version to evaluate BookBuddy and see if it suits your needs. In the worst case scenario, you can always export BookBuddy library into a CSV file and import it to another app of your choice, but we are confident that you won’t need to do that 🙂

      Best,
      Kimico Support Team

      Reply
  6. Rachel

    Thanks for your post. I’ve been searching for an App that does all this. I currently have the free version. Do you know if the paid version is better and is worth upgrading?

    Reply
  7. Maggie

    I had same question re: syncing from iPhone to iPad. Is using Dropbox the only way to do it? Because Dropbox is only free for 30 days, I think.
    I also wondered if more than one user could access and edit the collection. I’ve been scanning my daughter’s third grade classroom collection w my iPhone. Hoping when I’m all done, she can edit and tag as she wants for her class. Hate to scan her huge collection and find out she can’t use, too.
    I love the way you use different tags, and showing us how you store in tubs, what helpful suggestions, great tutorial. Thx

    Reply
    1. ktoponce Post author

      Dropbox is free as long as you don’t need a lot of storage space (I think the free version is like 16 gb) There is a way to create a shared folder in Dropbox, that way you can share the book buddy file and both of you can access it. You both need to have Dropbox accounts though. 🙂

      Reply

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