It's book fair time again in our library!
No sooner did our pumpkin patch leave than those silver cases rolled into the building.
Once I set up the book fair, I snap a photo of each case with my smart phone. That way, when I suddenly see an empty space on a shelf, I can look back at the photo to see what book I need to re-order.
Here are a few things I've learned about book fairs.
1) I sometimes use the Scholastic theme, sometimes choose my own. Last spring, I decorated in a Seuss theme because our book fair fell on Read Across America Day. This week, I'm decorating in a pirate theme, because it fits with my library's ocean decor better than Scholastic's Egyptian focus.
I bought cute (not scary-skull) pirate tablecloths and pennants from Oriental Trading Company, and I'm playing the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack CD in the background.
2) I always give goodies to my volunteers. This year, I'm wrapping up a thank you note with a five dollar book fair gift certificate, M & M candy bars, and extra gum.
My thank you note says: Thank you for lending an EXTRA hand at our book fair. You helped us make More & More for our school library and our students. And you can download it from my Google Drive, if you'd like.
3) I create shelf talkers to show the reading levels of the books. Parents want to choose an appropriate book for their students. I look the books up on Scholastic Book Wizard or Titlewave and put the reading level on a shelf talker by the book.
4) Buy the coin counter from the Scholastic Resource catalog. It will save your sanity if you encounter as many coin-filled baggies, pockets, and purses as I do!
5) I use the Signup Genius website to schedule volunteers. This is my first time to try it, and it seems to be going well...better than the paper sign-up sheet.
I hope the book fair odds are ever in your favor. If you have great ideas that work for you, please share them in a comment!