Any teacher worth their salt knows how important classroom libraries are. Even if we didn’t see the evidence in our classrooms everyday, there is plenty of research proving their importance. But how does a teacher keep their library packed, updated, and enticing? Students need access to books. The more students you teach, the more books you need in your library. At times it can seem very intimidating- how do we build up a huge classroom library without going broke?
I am extremely lucky. Thanks to my work reviewing books for the blog I have access to review copies and ARCs. Every single review copy and ARC I receive makes its way into my classroom library for my students to read and enjoy. If I don’t think the book is appropriate for my 6th graders I pass it on to another teacher, our school librarian, or my sister’s school. But most teachers don’t have time to review books on top of their day-to-day work, so I am frequently asked how I keep my library well-stocked and up-to-date.
One of the best ways to stock your classroom library is by visiting the semi-annual Scholastic Warehouse Sale in your area. Check here for the next sale in your area. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my warehouse sale! Picture this: walking through a large garage-like door. In front of you are closed silver cases, the ones you see at your school book fair. There are signs, favorite characters posters, and a few small piles of books. You round the corner and suddenly you are swallowed up by this huge warehouse. Floor to ceiling there are just huge shelves of books. It’s like a teacher and booklover’s paradise. Bring your credit card, your purchase order, your checkbook- however you plan to pay. And be prepared to walk out with boxes upon boxes of books.
Can’t get to a warehouse sale? Check out online book outlets. Right now Barnes and Noble is running a 3 for $10 promotion. There are lots of great children’s and YA titles in the mix. I just placed my order. I also frequently check out the Bargain Books on Amazon. Be sure to go through the books in the $5 and under category for some really great deals!
Better World Books is my all-time favorite book website. They have a constant promotion of 5 used books for $15. Many of these are library remains and I have scooped up some phenomenal deals. The shipping is a little slow, but it is free and they let you offset the carbon footprint so they get two thumbs up from me! And right now they are running a special promotion in honor of Children’s Book Week- 5 children’s books for $10!
Offline you can visit garage sales, library book sales, and make sure you utilize the Scholastic Book Clubs. I use my bonus points monthly to buy new titles for our classroom library. The kids love having a say in what we purchase and it really builds a lot of excitement.