Today I will talk about one of my favorite aspects of my job – ordering books! I have a pretty nice budget at my school – we have over 800 students that I have to buy materials for, so sometimes it’s a tough decision. I have low readers and high readers, 1st through 5th grade that check out library materials.
So, I have to be smart and to be smart – I use the wonderful beautiful company called Follett first and foremost. They have this beautiful thing called Titlewave, where I can upload my records, see where I’m lacking based on what research says a school library should have in each dewey number, fiction section etc.
Not to mention, they carry a ton of stuff. So I can order without having to go through a bazillion companies to get the series my students love.
Although, that being said, I found that sometimes buying from the publisher can really pay you back. Literally. Early this year, when I saw an ad from Capstone, saying they’d give me 30% back in free books.. well I couldn’t resist. After all, a lot of the graphic novels and hi-low nonfiction series I buy are Capstone books.
Not only are they awesome because I’m actually getting FREE books… but they make it so easy to buy with their scan and buy catalog. You can just scan away from their catalog to their online catalog with your handy book scanner. I ended up spending way too much this way btw. 🙂
Also, they are trying out a “green” program, which is awesome so far. I scan all the books I’m discarding but still in good condition and they will give me rewards points for sending them off to Better World Books for free. I get rid of old musty books and get points for new books.
I love Capstone’s line of books – they have some of the best graphic novels for elementary students, nonfiction books that are interesting but still at low reading levels for my struggling readers.
Last, but definitely not least, I order from Junior Library Guild.
They really select the greatest books. I only get their graphic novels right now, but after seeing how many of their picks won ALA awards.. I’m considering upping what I get from them. They send you one book a month in the categories you choose and that way you are getting new and fantastic books every month for the full school year.
I have a lot of fun compiling my lists and use magazines like School Library Journal and Booklist to help guide me along the way. It’s hard because I am a slave to Accelerated Reader, meaning I often have to weigh buying a book that doesn’t have a test yet because it probably won’t get checked out as much as one that does. A sad fact of life, but definitely one that defines some of my choices in book selection.