Looking for a way to build classroom libraries and get books into the hands of your students? A schoolwide book drive is an inexpensive way to grow libraries and involve your school community. How do you get started?
- Gather a small committee of interested people to organize and carry out the event. This may include staff and faculty from the school, or it might be a group of volunteers or the school PTO.
- Set the date(s). It might be around a specific event such as National Library Week or Read Across America, or you may wish to hold it during the week of conferences or another special week.
- Determine how and where you will collect books. Consider having drop boxes at all school entrances and in each classroom. You may also find it helpful to have designated days and times when people can drive up and drop their books off with a volunteer without having to get out of their car.
- Compose a letter to send home to families, and post it on the school website and/or social media account. In your letter ask for new or gently used books. Be sure to inform and include the families of students in all grade levels. At some point the youngest child will go through the grades and there are no siblings to pass books down to. Remind families that this is a great way for those books to still get use!
- After the book drive is over, decide how books will be disbursed. Often they are sorted by genre or interest, and then divided and delivered to classrooms. Some schools choose to distribute books to classrooms with the smallest libraries first, in an attempt to provide ample book access for all students.
- Afterward, send a thank-you to your school community for their generosity and support.
If you are looking for other ideas, a simple Google search using the keywords book drive or school book drive will generate a list of sites with simple to elaborate book drive ideas.