Monday, May 6, 2013

Money Saving Monday #1

I don’t know about you, but I know my budget for next year has been cut drastically.  In fact, I have the lowest supply budget I have ever had – EVER.  For some reason, that makes it impossible for me to choose what to buy for my kiddos next year.  I thought it might be appropriate to have a money saving series, because I have a feeling we will continue to spend increasing amount of money on our classroom so our little ones can have an awesome time learning.

So, today’s tip is use your public library!

(Is this not the coolest library? It’s really not mine, it’s Kansas City Public Library.)

I know that we all love buying books to use in our teaching.  With standards changing and, if you are changing units or topics, You many have your eyes on some new lovelies.  If there is anything I learned the past couple years, with all the changing grades and moving, is that we collect waaaaay too many books.  I love a full library too, but when I can’t actually find the ones I am looking for in my collection it becomes an issue. Do we really need to OWN so many books?

The answer is, probably not! (I know, I love those full shelves!)

A great alternative is to use your public library to find books for your classroom.  Here are a couple tips:

1. Find out how your public library works.
In my region the libraries of 4 counties are all linked.  I can search for a book or a theme on the website and order the books from any of the libraries.  They show up at my closest library for me to tote off to school.

2. Make a list of books or topics you are looking for.
If you are anything like me, I find all these great books and then forget about them before I can track them down.  I started writing my titles or topics right in my week’s plans to search for..It also helps if you are able to order books because you can do it in advance.  Additionally, many librarians are willing to do the searching for you if you just give them a topic!

3. Have a dedicated area in you classroom to keep library books.
My kiddos are so excited when I introduce new books.  The grab them as soon as they can and sometimes I lose track of them.  Decide on your rules and have a place to keep the books.  I had a basket in my  classroom last year and the kids had to put the books back right away.

4. Watch those due dates!
I swear I could fund my own library at this point.  My tip – especially if you have books with different due dates, is to use sticky notes on or inside the cover with the due dates.   I try to return them on the way home since the library is literally around the corner.  (My goal is to bike or walk there this summer.  I’m talking a country around the corner, so I think it is like 3 miles each way. And I need a bike…)I can also renew online at my library.

5. Have a library bag. 
I have a tote bag to store my books in the car.  As I get the books from the library, I put them in my bag and take it into school.  I put the bag in my car after I empty it and add books as I finish them.  That way, I always have a place for books to return and they are conveniently in my car.

6. Check out the online books.
My library system has a growing collection of books online.  I was able to download a Magic Tree House for the class to listen to, rather than having them hear my boring old voice that they tune out…I mean listen to…all day long.  We also have kindle and e-reader books to put up on the Promethean/Smart Board and they are immediately available!

So, the public library is FREEEEEE people!  Use it – that’s what it’s there for! 
Any other library tips?

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! I use my library ALL the time for classroom books. My library has "educator" cards. Teachers get to check books out for six weeks instead of three and can put twice as many books on hold. Thanks for sharing and spreading library love!

    Chickadee Jubilee