Book Fair Roundup

Hi friends!

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!

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    1. Do you do contests during your book fair? I’m always looking for new ideas, or new ways to do what I already do.

    2. Here is how we did the book fair raffle:
      1. We hung up all the posters and numbered them (using post-it notes)
      2. We numbered cups to match the posters
      3. We hung up a sign ON the “one for books” box saying “POSTER RAFFLE! Tickets are 50 cents each or 3 for $1.00. Pay the cashier who will write your name on your tickets. Fold your tickets & put them in the numbered cup that matches the number of the poster you want!
      4. All money collected for the poster raffle went into the One for Books box.
      5. For tickets, we just used scrap paper!

      I think that’s it! 😉

    3. I have the students fill our their wish list (the one scholastic provides) during preview then tell them to take it home, show their parents, have their parents sign it and bring it back to me. I have a wrapped box that all the signed forms go into and each day I draw two which win a free poster of their choosing. The kids love the competition and I love that the parents are viewing their wish lists with prices. So thankful for my mentor teacher for giving this idea during my internship.

    4. I have have about 1100 elementary students at my school. So to save time and sanity I put the prices on the front of the cases and books on tables. I simply print out sheets of paper with the most common prices, then use post it notes for the others. This saves the kids wanting to know the prices and us constantly flipping the books to look. This is a bit time consuming but well worth it in the end.

      1. Nicole,
        I use my Scholastic dollars to buy the $5 gift certificates. When you do the financial form, it asks you how much you took from the fair in books, and I add the gift certificate amount to that total.
        Thanks for your question!

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