Friday, April 20, 2012

Tips for Growing Your Library!

When I was teaching, it was always a challenge to grow and maintain a great library of books.  Books are an educators BEST friend and we always want to get our hands on MORE.  I guess you can call it greed;)

Here are my 3 best tips...
#1-Local Library
Our local libraries have a program called "Friends of the Library."  As an educator and a mommy of two little readers, I LOVE the Friends of the Library program!  People donate their old books to the library and the library turns around and sell them to you and a fraction of the retail price.  I usually pick up great easy readers for 25 cents!  I never pay more than 50 cents for my books!

A few library finds...

#2-Garage Sales
Summer is right around the corner and so are those garage sells!  Last summer I scored 80 Bearstein Bear books for $5!!  And to be totally honest, I don't think the little owner of these books read them more than 1-2 times!   I find that large neighborhood garage sales are the best.

#3 Tickets (Tip for Teachers)
When I transferred schools because I started job-sharing, I left my collection of books to the teacher at my old school.  Silly, I know!  I was tired, VERY pregnant and just wanted to start my summer vacation.  Well, needless to say, I needed a new library...and FAST!

Here is how I grew my library of 15 books into 300+ books in a matter of a couple of weeks.

I asked the kids if they had any library books at home that they no longer read.  IF IT WAS OKAY WITH THEIR PARENTS, they could donate the books to our class library.  In exchange, I would give them 2 tickets. We would use these tickets in a drawing for prizes at the end of the week.


They came to school with bags of books!  The books ranged from Kindergarten to 8th grade, which was perfect for meeting the various reading levels in my classroom!

Can you imagine how many books you could collect in 5 years??  In retrospect, I probably should have sent home a letter to the parents first;)

Reading in a basket is normal...right?

Do you have any tips?

Maria over at Kinder-Craze also posted on used book sales head on over to see her ideas, too!


Tina said...

What great tips, Annie! As a new teacher I have been adding to my small collection at every opportunity, but it can be really expensive! I loved your idea about asking the kiddies to bring in any old books (parent permission issue noted)! I have to say that pic of your sweetie reading in a basket is just one of the cutest darn things I have seen and just made me smile!! LOVE it :) Happy end of the week to you ~ x
Good Morning Mrs Rubie

Maria said...

I JUST wrote a post about buying used books for the classroom last night and have it set to publish at 7am today. Great minds must think alike! Anyways, just wanted to let you know that I'm not trying to copy your post idea, it was already in the works for me too.


FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said...

Great ideas! Love the basket reading!! =)
First Grade Blue SKies

Andrea said...

Thank you for the tip Annie! This is such a great idea for new teachers. I could only imagine how many bags of books your students are bringing in!

Cheers To School

Tamara L. Chilver said...

LOVE these tips Annie!!! I have to buy some new bookshelves first though. Mine are sooo packed. Since my kids are all ages, I have quite a diverse collection of books. Then I'll be hitting up some garage sales soon! I could never have enough books. :)

Jessica said...

What a good idea! I know I would be willing to donate books to my daughters class. Most teachers in my school don't send home a lot of letters asking for things. I will definitely be sharing!


School Sparks Renee said...

Great ideas - especially for new teachers in this economy. Thanks for the tips, Renee

Fluttering Through First Grade said...

Could your lil "Basket Reader" be any sweeter?! Too cute!

We are always asking parents or old students to donate their used books that aren't being read anymore. It's painful and pricey to build your collection through Barnes and Noble! Scholastic bonus points are also a good way to go!
~Christy and Tammy

luckeyfrog said...

A few weeks ago, I posted about this same thing! There are so many ways to make book sales and Scholastic book orders worth your time! I'm a new (and poor :) teacher, and those things have been so valuable to me!

Our school library also has a 'library birthday party' every year where they suggest that students donate towards new books for the library. It's fun and helps fund new books!

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

Sara S. said...

I get all my books from the library book sales! Only 25 cents! I get soo excited to come home with bags of books. My husband thinks I'm a little ca-razy but that's ok!

Sara :)
Smiling In Second Grade

SLandry said...

Another suggestion is to go to book stores that buy and sell used books. They usually get swamped with books that they can never get shelved and sell. I've heard of plenty of colleagues who walk in, say they are a new teacher, and poof! They leave with boxes of books all ranging in various levels! I have not done that personally as my aunt and cousins cleaned out their closets and gave me a good supply but it probably wouldn't hurt to start beefing up my library more. Thanks for the tips!!

veronicakoz said...

Scholastic Warehouse Sales are great for getting new books at 1/2 price. They happen around 3-4 times per year and allow home educators to shop there!

Unknown said...

I am starting my own school and have been building a great library of used books. Here are some of my discoveries:

Goodwill: Ours sells children's softcover for $.29 and hardcover for $.69

Used bookstores: This is probably the priciest way to get used books BUT I suggest taking in books that you get duplicates of or that aren't what you need. You can get store credit (and sometimes cash) to get the books that you really want.

Used Book Sales: Check out the website to find sales in your area. The local university women's group has a sale at the fairgrounds every year. I never miss it. Not only do I get great deals but I am supporting a good cause.

I love the "ticket" idea. :)

rushingtoread said...

I always used the Scholastic Book Order points to get new books for my classroom library. I was a fifth grade teacher, and I perused the book order form and did little book talks on some of the titles I thought my kids might like; it was *amazing* how much a little introduction to the order increased what kids bought, and I got a TON of great books and posters and things using those points over my seven years of teaching!

Marissa said...

What a great idea! I live and teach abroad in a 3rd world country so new books are expensive and hard to come by. I don't know why I didn't consider asking parents for donations in the first place! I will definitely be doing so next year.

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