A few days ago, TPT on Facebook asked the following question: “Hi Teachers, Let’s talk about your classroom libraries. Do you have a tip to share about organizing, building up, or utilizing your classroom library?”
“Wow!” I thought, “This is right down my alley!” Of course before I replied, I had to read all of the other 100 responses! Most suggested thrift stores or scholastic, but very few said, “Go see your Media Specialist!” That should have been one of the most common answers in my honest opinion. But then again, schools with media specialists might be getting a little rare with all the cuts over the past few years. I count my blessings myself, but work with a deep lingering fear that each year might be my last in the library.
Enough of the worry! Below is the answer I posted to the TPT question:
I am a media specialist, so getting books is part of my job. My first bit of advice for adding to your library is to ask your media specialist. I’m always getting donations from parents and students, buying books using my scholastic dollars, and pulling out extra copies from the library shelves. In fact I have a book case I keep stocked in my storage room just for teachers who want to add to their library.
Here’s another little gem: A great place to order books is townsendpress.com. If you’re a middle school or high school teacher and you’ve never heard of the Bluford Series, then it’s time to be in the know! Kids can’t put these down! And the best part? Townsend sells their books for only $1 each! Townsend has also come out with The King School Series, a collection of 85 leveled books for beginning readers. Only 1 dollar per book!
And my last bit of advice: If you work in a title-one school, check out First Book Marketplace! I can really stretch a dollar with their help! I recently purchased a classroom set of books for a teacher for only $1.54 a book. It’s regular price? $5.99! If your school is eligible you could also benefit by having your media specialist register your school through firstbook.org and then apply for book grants at a shipping cost of only 45 cents a book if you’re awarded the grant. These, however, are meant to be given to your students for their own home libraries. Here’s the marketplace address. Happy Teaching/ Library Building! http://www.fbmarketplace.org/
I hope you have a great week. May your days with full of eager students and your nights be paperwork free!
Debra G. 😀