18 Free (or Cheap) Ways to Build Your Classroom Library

Giving your pupils books is the best approach to promote reading in the class. However, we know that you may not have the resources to consistently spend your income on books. Here are a few of our most effective tips for locating inexpensive or free books.

  1. Make a wish list on Amazon.

Have you ever taken advantage of Amazon’s wish list functionality? You can make a wish list of books for the class that you can discuss with families, or you can just put a hyperlink to your original email. Request and you will get, perhaps!

  1. Browse First Book’s marketplace.

Explore First Book for your school library requirements if at least 70% of the pupils in your classroom are from poor homes. Educators can shop for fresh books on First Book’s platform for discounts of up to 90% off MSRP. A National Book Bank run by First Book also offers complimentary books. The only drawback is that each book costs around $0.35 and $0.50 to mail. First Book provides an enormous range, including books in Spanish, books about music and the arts, books about other cultures, STEM books, and also regular novels and science.

  1. View Children Need to Read.

One more initiative that offers inexpensive books and literary materials to libraries and schools is called Kids Need to Read. 50% of the students in your institution must be those dwelling at or under the federal economic level for your school to be considered for the initiative. Approval is not guaranteed. Nevertheless, Kids Need to Read also assists intermediate readers and early adulthood, contrasting some organizations that primarily focus on young readers.

  1. Obtain book funding.

Several grants are also offered, and these can be used to pay for the purchasing of children’s books. The Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and the Snapdragon Book Foundation are a few of them. To improve your class libraries, collaborate with fellow educators at your institution to create a fantastic proposal.

  1. Use the Reading Resource Project as a platform.

The Reading Resource Project is an active initiative that provides paperback books to help learning programs and is sponsored by the Literacy Empowerment Foundation. Pre-K through elementary grade reading levels is offered. The Reading Resource Project provides book collections in a variety of areas in both Spanish and English. Postage and packaging cost $0.78 for each book for receivers. Share the 100-book box amongst numerous classrooms by collaborating with other class instructors!

  1. Explore the resources available at The Library of Congress.

The Library of Congress excess books program to fill your school library, whether you are a school teacher in the DC region or are currently arranging a visit to our country’s capital. Early-level books are scarce, yet there is a fluctuating availability despite this. Only personal pickup is allowed for the extra books. However, you are welcome to send a duly approved group member. You might request your colleagues or the other instructor to choose some novels for your class if they are considering a vacation to the Washington, DC, area.

  1. Examine secondhand stores.

Excellent places to find cheap books include Goodwill and children’s resale shops. You ought to be likely to spot some entertaining books to include in your school library, albeit it occasionally feels like a treasure hunt. Additionally, you can attend annual consignment events. Costs on these are often cheaper than those in shops. Locate a consignment auction taking place close to you.

  1. Look for discounts available on the internet.

Knowing where to look for cheap book offers digitally is helpful in extra to discover them at your neighborhood bookstores. You may also like to try out stores like Books A Million, Better World Books, and Thrift Books.

  1. Hold your local book drive using social media.

The majority of readers adore their fellow readers. They typically have no problem sharing books because they wish to encourage everyone else to read. So start your mini-book drive and spread the word on social networks. Be as precise as possible and stress that the books must be in good condition. Even the whole school or a bunch of teachers could participate in a book drive. After that, you can arrange these and divide them equally.

  1. Visit wholesale sales.

Warehouse sales are occasionally held by Scholastic Book Fairs. This is a fantastic opportunity to save up to 80% off the list price on books and activity kits for your classroom library. There are hundreds of goods priced at $2 or less, and most books are discounted by at least 50%. Even a create option is available in some places! Pick up a box, fill it with books from a certain selection of closeouts and pay just $24.95. Simply input your zip code to find a warehouse sale in your state. To receive a special voucher for $10 off a $50 purchase or $25 off a $100 purchase, sign up online as fast as could be expected at your local event.

Additionally, you can shop from the Scholastic Teacher Store online. Discounts are available with hundreds of titles costing educators as little as $1. On occasion, they provide free delivery days to further reduce the cost.

  1. Join a reading club in your class.

A great place to find books for your classroom is the Scholastic Reading Program. When parents buy books through your school catalog, you receive bonus points to go toward books for your class library. You get more free books as more parents place orders. Every parent’s wallet has options, though. Even a $1 book is offered monthly in the catalog. We also came across this blog post, which has some fantastic suggestions for encouraging parent purchases!

  1. Register to receive BookBub offer alerts.

Check out BookBub if you would prefer not to have to search for the free books for your school library. This free daily mail alerts you to bestselling e-book titles in the genres of your choice that are temporarily free or cheap.

  1. Use Half Price Books to make a free book request.

Books are given to schools and school libraries by Half Price Books. Cross your fingers and submit a request online! To help you save money on books all year long, Half Price Books also provides a 10% teacher discount.

  1. Visit the sale at your library.

Donations of books are frequently made to public libraries. Most of these volumes are kept for book sales rather than placed on library shelves. Most of these sales are supported by the volunteer Friends of the Library organizations. In a variety of subjects and categories, you can often find books for between $0.25 and $1.

Since your purchase price supports the services offered by public libraries, these sales are mutually beneficial. Give them a call to learn when the next sale will be held at your neighborhood library. You may also visit Book Sale Finder to find sales in your state.

  1. Look through garage sales.

People frequently sell children’s books they no longer need or want at yard sales. The costs vary, but you can typically bargain and get them for a very low price. The best action is to look for neighborhood-wide yard sales so you can visit many in one location. Make a great morning out of it by gathering your fellow teachers!

  1. Request funding from parents.

You can put up a sign-up sheet during open houses and parent-teacher meetings. Parents might decide to donate books to your class rather than a resale shop if they are aware that they have the option. Inside donated items, place a label. When their donated book is read, children will love it.

  1. Invite the pupils from the middle or high schools to participate.

Many middle and high school students are required to complete hours of community service, and they can feel good about helping their community’s younger students by bringing in books. They might even recall attending the primary school for which they receive books. Inquire about holding a book drive for your class or school from groups like the federal honor society or others. A book or two from their previous grade can be brought in by the students. Then arrange a buddy day where her students can visit your class and read the donated items. Exchange a book drive with a teacher who teaches a lower grade.

  1. To locate free (and fantastic) discounts, go digital.

A digital school library can be a fantastic resource for pupils if you have tablets in your classroom. Finding free e-books is made incredibly easy by several websites. The Digital Book Index is the most complete. This is a list of all the top e-book retailers, academic libraries, and other independent authors. Check out the Global Children’s Digital Library as well. The largest digital library of children’s literature is available here. They have countless books in various languages.

Free digitized books are also available from the Library of Congress. These contain numerous classics for kids with illustrations. Free electronic books can be found at Project Gutenberg. Over 40,000 free titles are available on the website. There are books for kids on the website and all other electronic publications.

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