We are so excited to have the second location of Avid Bookshop just a few blocks from our school. Avid was recently named one of the top 5 finalists for the 2017 bookstore of the year by Publisher’s Weekly. Since our students have walking field trip forms on file, it was easy for this year’s student book budget group to plan a walking field trip to the new Avid. This group of students has a library budget that they have complete control over. Through surveys, they have set purchasing goals to buy new books for the library that kids want to read.
Ahead of our visit, I sent Hannah DeCamp, school specialist, a list of the major genres the book budget group is looking to purchase books for. She pulled together some books to show us, found some “Best Books for Young Readers” magazines, and dug out some advance reader copies of books for students to review.
On the day of our walk, I met with 11 of our book budget team and reminded them about the purchasing goals we had set. We also reminded ourselves that Avid would be open for business so we needed to stay out of the way of customers as well as keeping the store organized during our browsing.
It was a great morning for a walk and it only took us about 15 minutes to arrive. Hannah greeted us and showed us how the store was organized. She showcased a few books in each section and then allowed students to browse the store.
Since the store sells books for all kinds of readers, students really had to ask themselves if they were looking at a book that would best fit an elementary library. Some books were of interest, but they were really more for adults. As students found books that they liked, they came to me and we wrote the titles down in a notebook. I originally wanted to type them as we worked, but I didn’t want to lug around a computer.
What I noticed right away was that when books were presented in smaller sections like the shelves in Avid, students noticed the books better. There were several books our students got excited about that we actually have in our library, but they haven’t seen them. It made me start to wonder how to make books more visible to students.
When Hannah let students look through a stack of advance reader copies, they again got excited about many of the books. It reminded me that I need to get more students involved in perusing the ARCs that I get in the mail or pick up at conferences. I can’t read them all, but students can help read and make decisions.
I kept sending students back to the shelves of Avid and making them take books off the shelves to read a few pages or at least read the back. I feel like they spent a good amount of time digging through what was in stock. In all, we spent about an hour browsing.
Several students brought money with them, so they made some purchases. We gathered outside the shop for a bit and took time to look through the catalog that Hannah had given us. Again, we added to our list before walking back to school.
Avid Bookshop is going to be such a great resource for us being so close to our school. There were so many life skills and standards that we explored on this trip. We learned about the publishing industry, independent bookshops, community helpers, budgets, adding money, and taxes.
Now, I am typing up the books that we loved, and students will make a final decision to send back to Hannah at Avid for a quote. I know this is just the beginning of how we will utilize having Avid right here in our school community.