Thursday, September 23, 2010

Birthday Book Clubs

I’m on my way to speak in Florida about how to do something with what you have. It seems like everywhere I go, funds and staffing are stretched to their limits. So we will talk about saving time and money when you don’t have much of either. As part of that we will talk about ways to raise money.

Start a fund raising project that adds new books to your collection at little cost to you. A Birthday Book Club provides funding for you to add new books to the collection while allowing your community to take ownership by donating materials you really want and need. Students who are members get to be the first to check out the books. You can host a party which could be offered several times throughout the year, adding new members to your club. Encourage area businesses or community members to donate so that your less fortunate students can also participate. Perhaps students who return their books, etc. can win chances for a drawing for these donor club memberships.

If you have upper grade students, you can adapt the idea to an Honor Club. Books/money can be donated in honor of a graduating student. Students can invite friends and family from all over the world to participate, so that many books are added in honor of the student.

As an alternative fundraiser, I learned yesterday that PermaBound has a new program called Book Busters. Schools can create a url that can be posted on a website. People from all over the world can go to the site and donate money for books. All you need to do is create a reason for buying them. How many reasons, let me count they ways… They even have promotional material for you to use. Contact your PermaBound representative for more information.

How do you start the book club? See the ideas below to get you started. There are forms you can adapt on my Libraries Matter wikispace on the Prepare for Fall page. Help yourself.

Oh and party refreshments? Ice cream and cake? Of course!

 At the end of the year, around Christmas or at the beginning of the school year, send a letter home to parents inviting them to participate in the Birthday Book Club.
 If you charge $20.00, you will be able to choose library bound books.
 Parents return the form with their money or check.
 Order the books, selecting age and topic appropriate books.
 Create a database from the forms.
 Use Microsoft Word to create a mail merge label for each child’s book.
 Use Word to create a spine label for the Birthday Book. A simple cake logo works.
 When the books are ready send out invitations to the Birthday Book Club Party.
 Plan age appropriate entertainment and refreshments.
 Enlist volunteers to help with the books and party.
 Place the labels on the spine and in the books.
 Sort the books by your distribution plan.
 Check out the books to the student whose family donated the book.
 Throw the party.

1 comment:

JoanLMT2 said...

Thanks, Deborah. I've been thinking about ways to supplement our meager book budgets this year. The Birthday Club is just the thing!