Saturday, October 15, 2016

Book Fair Success


Let me start by saying that this was not my most financially successful book fair ever. However, I did some new things that I believe made a big difference to make it a success in my book.

1- Student made Book Fair Preview Video

I have a "Review Crew" at my school. It is a group of students who LOVE the library. They get first "dibs" on the new books. In order to get the new books before anyone else they have to review them with a written and video review. For the older students, they do the review on their own. For my primary students, it is more like an interview. I sit with them and ask them questions about the book they read. This year instead of ordering the decorating kit as my book fair promo from Scholastic, I ordered the preview box. I picked a few students from the Review Crew to come to the library and choose a book that was going to be featured on the book fair. They read the book and reviewed it just like we did in the past. However, I used iMovie to string all of the reviews together into a 3 minute Book Fair Video. My hope was that the students would see their classmates or students they recognized from the hallway and make a connection with that child and possibly purchase the book based on their review. It WORKED! I overheard several of my students saying, I saw my friend review this on the video we watched in the library last week. I did use the video that Scholastic sent, I just used it differently than I had in the past. To view our student made video, click on the link:

2- Teacher Gift Certificates

This year I  sold Teacher Gift Certificates at the Book Fair instead of doing Wish Lists. I work in a school that is 85% Low Income. I have tried year after year to do Wish Lists for the teachers. I always feel bad after each fair when a teacher has come to the library to make a Wish List only to find out that not a single book had been purchased. This year I made a paper Book Fair Gift Certificate and gave them to my volunteers working the registers. I asked them to say "Would you like to add a $5 gift certificate for your child's teacher to your purchase?" to each person BEFORE they said the total. If a parent added a gift certificate, they rang it up as an All For Books donation and wrote down the teacher's name and amount given on a tracking sheet so I would know how much each teacher earned. During the evening 15 certificates were purchased! The next morning teachers were able to spend their book fair certificates and when I rang them up,  I used the All for Books as a payment method for their purchase, if they went over the amount on their certificate,  they had to pay the difference. The teachers were so thankful! I would have considered the experiment a success if we would have been able to get one parent to purchase one, but we ended up with 15!! Huge success!  I will do this program again in the spring!


3- Student Wish Lists

I work in a school that is 85% low income. I know that there are students who are unable to shop at the book fair. I allow them to write me a wish list of what they would like to see in the library. I always remind them that wishes don't always come true, but their wishes will help me decide what to buy. This year their top three wishes were the new Jedi Academy book, Dog Man, and Ghosts. I purchased a few copies of each of these books. Lucky for me, the promotion posters that came with the planning kit had these books on them. I re-used the posters to help promote my "win checking these books out first" raffle. I loved hearing the students tell me that their wish came true because that" book had been on the wish list that they wrote for me. How do the kids make their wish lists for me? Sometimes I use paper copies from the files in the book fair toolkit online, and sometimes I use a Google Form linked via QR Code that the kids access with the library iPads.

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