Building Classroom Libraries: Part Two

In this second installment of a two-part series, LaQuita shares how you can help build classroom and personal libraries by simply gifting an administrator with one of your most loved books.

In my previous blog, I shared my belief in the power of independent reading and the synergistic culture that is created by talking about books, and the fact that I am committed to putting a book in the hand of every child in my building. To make this happen, I reach out to administrators and make sure I share my most loved books – physically and verbally.
 
After gifting a book that your students and/or you have read that continues to be borrowed from your classroom library, reach back out to your administrator.

Put a reminder in your calendar to check back with them in a few weeks. You can do this in person, via email, or consider sending a video message (you can use an application like Flipgrid to accomplish this task). Your goal is to find out/learn about the person’s thoughts.
 
After the share – ask your administrator if he/she would be willing to add a few copies to your classroom library. Emphasize how much students love the book. Share how many students are on the waitlist for the book and how the extra copies will increase the number of children reading – and who can resist that?
 
You can also send a student to deliver the booktalk and the book. This face-to-face contact will leave an impression that won’t soon be forgotten.
 
Use Scholastic Book Clubs to purchase books for your classroom. There are lots of books you’ll hear your students talking about throughout the course of the year. Keep an eye out for these titles in your Scholastic Book Clubs order form.
 
Don’t use the Book Clubs order form? You’re missing out… For every book a student purchases, you earn points that can be used to get books for your class. The best part? You can find high interest books for as little as $5.00!

Consider DonorsChoose. This is another way to get your community to support your efforts. By posting a project with book titles that your students love, you’ll be able to add to your library in not time. When posting your project,
 
Although the research says that a classroom library should have at least 300 books, I suggest starting with one book at a time. Sure, it may take a little while to get there (okay – a long while), but the more books you add throughout the year, the larger your classroom library grows. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll build your classroom library and the joy you’ll bring to your students.