The Book Fair has taken most of my, and the library’s, time and attention during the past week and a half. Other than making money for the library to purchase materials, (I’ll get to that later in the post), I learned quite a lot of other things about books and getting them in the hands of students!
First of all I loved talking with students about book heroes, why reading stories, and identifying with the characters in stories. makes us smarter and wiser. I realized in our short book talks, promoting books which were for sale, that I need to make book talking a regular part of the library learning experience. I loved seeing students excited about the books we discussed. So many of you purchasing like books, presents a great opportunity for book discussions. I think our next Ninth Period Book League book may be Slob, since it was a popular purchase and a great read. I’d also love to offer virtual space for small book club type discussions for other popular books purchased. I’ll have to think on that one.
I also realized the need for face out shelving to showcase book collections. It’s extremely difficult finding books in the library when all you can see is the spine! Yes we’ve discussed other ways to find out about good books, such as talking with friends, the Reader’s Advisory section of the library website, and the OPAC. However, there’s nothing like the attraction of a book cover, with the opportunity to peruse its pages, to draw readers in. That’s why I’m thinking about spending some of the book fair funds on face out shelving for the ends of the fiction book cases.
We’ve already earned a rug for the sitting area and books, for both the library collection and book clubs, through Scholastic dollars. Other thoughts for book fair earnings are: a paneled display unit on wheels for student art work, which can double as a way to separate an area in the library for buffered audio/visual use, e-book readers, flip video cameras, Playaway audio books, and graphic novels. Although we raised a good deal of money, it’s not enough to cover it all. Good thing I’ll have some time to make decisions based on our needs!
Thank you everyone for supporting the book fair. I honestly felt a little funny about selling books in the library when libraries are all about lending them out for free, but I realize there’s a need and a desire to own them and keep them!
Ok a couple of questions: What should I do next year about all the “stuff” disguised as school supplies?! I asked all of you to purchase a book first, out of respect to those who provided you with money, and a bit of my personal wishes, but we didn’t make a big deal about it. Were any of your parents/caregivers upset about your purchase decisions? Also, what were your thoughts about this year’s fair? How was the selection etc.? Any ideas for improvement? Thanks in advance!