You’ve put a lot of work into creating happy readers – so don’t run out of materials for them to use. Setting up and growing your classroom library is easier than you think; each of the following ideas will keep a steady stream of books trickling into your classroom.
Ask your Class Parents
The parents in your class are already being bombarded with requests for funds and time, but will still want to come up with something for you for the holidays and for teacher appreciation week. If you can’t use another bath set and don’t need any more apple figurines, let your room parents know that books for the classroom library will be appreciated – instead of gifts. It will be easier for your parents to find something suitable and you won’t have quite so many teacher mugs to deal with, either.
Swap with Other Teachers
If you already have a library, set aside the duplicate books you receive or the ones that are not age appropriate for your kids and swap with other teachers. You may be able to find missing titles and fill in the blanks on your shelves, just by swapping.
Participate in Rewards Programs
Reward programs sponsored by local businesses, your library and national literacy groups often offer books (or a gift card) as prizes. Don’t let entering take over your life, but if you can enter contests to win books, you can add a few to your classroom every time you win. Rewards programs with built-in prizes allow you to collect items or achievements, and earn as well. A book fair may offer built in rewards and allow you to add to your shelves each year.
Hold a Book Drive
You’ve done it for canned goods and other items, so setting up a drive for books is fast and easy. Choose a week that works in your calendar, set up a fun box for donations, and ask for students and families to share used books in good condition. Even if you get duplicates, you can swap them for other titles you need to enhance your library.
It may take some time, but it is possible to build your library on a budget and to offer your students a whole new world of reading material and possibilities.