Discussion Forums - Teachers' Corner Teachers' Corner

Topic: Strategies for Getting Coworkers to Donate Books

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Strategies for Getting Coworkers to Donate Books
Date Posted: 12/27/2011 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2010
Posts: 6
Back To Top

I've been using PBS for a bit over a year and have collected quite a few credits. Starting this year, I've been using my credits to request books in multiples for my library book clubs (I'm an elementary school librarian). I also requested 25 copies yesterday of a book coming as a movie this spring so that I can challenge my students to read the book for a chance to win a pair of movie tickets. PBS is a GREAT way to get these books without paying full price when I need them. But my personal credits are almost depleted. I'm wondering if anyone has strategies to get friends and coworkers to donate their books so that I can mail them out? I've send out a few emails to my staff, but I'm not sure if there's an incentive I can use. I don't mind paying all the postage personally---I just want their popular novels!

Thanks for ideas!

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,582
Back To Top

Can you present your request at a staff meeting instead of relying on email?  I have found that our staff reads and forgets emails with alarming speed, so it may not be an unwillingness or lack of interest on their parts, but more a matter of not having paid attention in the first place.  Put up flyers in the staff lounge as reminders, too.  Does your school put out a monthly parent newsletter?  Ask about putting a request in that.  Would the PTA, if you have an active one, be willing to help by putting out an appeal for books to its members?  Valentine's Day is coming up, which means class parties, that might be another way of reaching out to the parents.  Can you ask homeroom teachers to send a note home with their party needs asking parents to see if they have any newer paperbacks that they might be willing to donate to help support the library? 

Just a few thoughts.  Good luck.

Date Posted: 1/2/2012 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 7/27/2005
Posts: 2,115
Back To Top

I would also (besides asking the staff AND parents) ask the students. Many of them have great children's books that they no longer read. You can post these as a deal (ie: 2 for 1) since they are so small to mail out and collect credits that way. Especially those in your book clubs! They can even donate back the book if they are not going to read it again.

GREAT idea! Goind to pass that along to my dd who is planning on studying Library Science after she gets her Bachelors in Teaching!

Date Posted: 1/21/2012 5:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
Back To Top

Our Teacher's Room has a table where we place items we no longer need....MANY books get placed there.  The old "one man's trash".....alive and well!!!!!  Great way to get books, or swap them here for the ones you do need!

Date Posted: 2/1/2012 12:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2010
Posts: 6
Back To Top

These are great ideas--thanks! Since posting, our school nurse was very sweet and donated a bag of kids books. The ones I could post here I did and the rest went on my swap shelf.

Date Posted: 2/7/2012 1:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2007
Posts: 1,574
Back To Top

Reach out to the Grandparents of the students.  Many have books at home and will donate if asked.  They always love to a part of what grandchildren are doing at school.


Maybe even have a day where Grandparents can come to school and have a read with the child day.  The price of admission is one book to leave at school for that classroom.

Date Posted: 8/2/2012 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
Back To Top

In person is better, so ask if your cause can be mentioned at staff meetings.  Does your school have a newsletter?  Get a regular article such as "Library Corner' where you can mention stuff like the books you ordered (and the upcoming challenge), that you are accepting donations along with where and how to donate.  Make a bright donation box (or several) and place in visible locations... in the library, school office, staff lounge, etc., be visible (booth or table) at school functions such as conferences (open house, grandparents day, bookfair, music programs, etc.).  Does your school have anything along the lines of PTA?  They are often looking for ways to help improve the school experience, you might get a few members on board to assist you!  Ask your teachers what you can do for them, they are more likely to participate if they see part of your efforts might benefit their classroom.

Do you have a local FOL (Friends of the Library) chapter?  As one library to another, you might contact them and see if a partnership is available.  Maybe they could check inventory before sales to see if they have anything you are collecting for your school, and you could donate books not posted to PBS (or excess copies of your movie book when the challenge is finished).

The object is to get your efforts in front of the staff, students, and families on a regular basis until they start remembering, then you should see some activity.

I agree, PBS can be a great resource for students and schools.  I volunteer at a small school library, and have been slowly acquiring copies of classics for use in our high school English program.   A dozen copies each of The Iliad and The Odyssey (Fitzgerald Translation) for AP summer reading, copies of Uncle Tom's Cabin to match and expand our existing set, and now I'm working on Beowulf (Heaney).

Last Edited on: 8/2/12 1:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 6