We just finished week 2 of student book budgets. During this week, students have analyzed the data from over 300 students who answered our reading interest survey. They used the summary of results in Google forms and also printed out a list of specific books that students requested. They used both of these tools to create a list of goals for purchasing as well as a list of things to consider while selecting books.
This year we will focus primarily on comics/graphic novels, sports, animals, scary stories, games, and how to do things. We will also focus some on music and humor/jokes.
We haven’t specifically decided how to split up our $5,000 James Patterson grant, but the discussion has started. It seems like more money is going to go to our top 3 goals and the remaining money will be split to the other goals. However, that is still being decided.
Once our goals were established, I started sending out invites to vendors to come and meet with students. We have 3 vendors we will be working with this year: Capstone Press, Gumdrop, and Avid Bookshop (our local independent bookstore).
This week, students met with Jim Boon of Capstone Press. Jim and Capstone have been longtime supporters of this project. Jim ships in catalogs ahead of time so that each student gets a catalog.
He also brings in a selection of books and divides them into fiction and nonfiction. Most of these books meet the needs of our goals, but there’s of course a few tossed in just for fun for students to look at. Jim usually brings in some fun posters and things for the students as well, which makes them feel very special. This year, students are adding books to our Capstone consideration list that match our goals, but students are also able to pick one book of their personal choice to add to the library. These books will get a special sticker with each student’s name designating who chose the book for the library.
Each grade level group came in for 30 minutes. Jim met with them at a table first to go over things like Capstone rewards, how to use the catalog, and how to scan books from the catalog straight into a consideration list.
I love how Jim talks directly to the students instead of me. They are the customers for this project, and he is meeting their needs and expectations.
After orienting at the tables, students start looking at all of the books that Jim brought in as well as using their catalogs to locate the books.
When students find books in the catalog that are for consideration, they fold down the corners of the pages until they can come to the computer to scan the books into our list.
Once we scan the barcode in the Capstone catalog, that entire series is added to our list. We then take a look to see which of the books on the list we already own. Students decide if they think we need an extra copy or if we should uncheck books we already own. Then, we save the cart.
After one pass through the books and catalogs, our students have added 116 titles to our Capstone consideration list for a total of $2,267 .
This number will of course grow and will be added to our other 2 vendors. Then, we’ll work to narrow our lists to meet our goals and our budget.
As always, thanks to Capstone, Jim Boon, Amy Cox, and Eric Fitzgerald for their support with this project each year. I can’t wait for the many conversations we will have about these books in the coming weeks.