We are lucky to have a great library and a librarian who volunteers once a week. I also have my own library with age appropriate books that the children are welcome to check out. I even have students from other classroom (former students) who come to ask to borrow certain books they remember enjoying or didn’t have a chance to get to.
I already mentioned how I keep my books organized. But many people wonder where I get all these books since I don’t get any money from my school to purchase supplies. There are a few things I do and over the years it has helped to build my collection.
· Scope out library book sales. The one I attend allows you to fill a paper shopping bag to the brim for about $5. I take my husband with me and make sure I get there as soon as the sale opens. He is my bag holder (such a strong guy!)
· Use Scholastic book orders. For every dollar my parents spend, I earn points which I can use to buy books or other classroom supplies. I make sure I hype this up so the students encourage their parents to buy (sorry parents).
· Go to garage sales and let them know you are a teacher looking for books for your room. Sometimes they are willing to lower their price for you or allow you to just take what you want/need.
· Go to second hand stores. My favorite place is Goodwill. I have found so many books (and games) there for great prices.
· Ask on Freecycle if anyone has age appropriate books to give you. Freecycle is a group on yahoo that helps reduce the amount of waste going into landfills by giving unwanted items away for free.
· If your school has a Scholastic book sale, make sure you ask the person hosting it if there is a wishlist for teachers. I am lucky enough to have very generous parents who are willing to buy at least one book off my wishlist.
· Send a note home with your students. Ask for any books they may no longer want.
When buying used books, make sure you flip through the book to check its condition. When you get it home, put your room number (or name) inside the book and show the children what you found. Many times it being new excites them enough to read it. I don’t know about you, but I do anything I can to get them excited over reading!