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Create a Share Library for Your Classroom

written by: Julia Bodeeb • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 8/2/2012

Students of all ages will benefit from a share library in the classroom. Help students do extra reading by bringing in books. Don't be afraid to ask for book donations.

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    Reading is a crucial activity to help build vocabulary, writing skills, and knowledge of the world. Reading also helps teenagers learn about career ideas and life skills. Having a "share library" in the classroom is very beneficial to high school students.

    A share library gives students a chance to do extra reading in their hours after school. Students enjoy having a library of books to browse and borrow. This free library also ensures that if a student finishes an assignment early he will have something to read while awaiting the next activity.

    A share library should ideally have its own bookcase. Organize the books into categories and label each category to attract student interest. You may want to include categories such fiction, poetry, art, and drama. Also be certain to include books about careers, with special sections about teaching, medicine, law, culinary arts, nursing, and other fields of interest to students. Students typically express a great deal of interest in nonfiction books about politics, history, biographies of people who achieved notable careers, and books about other countries around the world.

    Try to include at least ten to fifteen different categories of books so students may read their way through a wide range of topics. There are many different ways to obtain books for a share library. Spread the word that you need books and the donations will start to pour in. It is fascinating to see the wide variety of books people will donate.

    Write Letters to Publishing Companies

    Some large publishing companies will donate books to a teacher if a written request for a book donation is sent to the company.

    Book Sales

    Book sales at the local public library or flea market are also a great way to obtain great books without spending much money. Book sales often end the sale with a final day where one may fill an entire bag with books for a very low cost such as one dollar. Teachers are able to get hundreds of books for just a few dollars.

    Post Notice in Staff Room

    Put a notice up in the staff room that you are seeking books for a share library. Many teachers buy their children a huge amount of books to encourage learning. Once the children have outgrown the book they will typically donate it somewhere--so why not your share library? Ask other teachers to donate their unwanted books to your classroom and soon you will probably have an ongoing flow of book donations.

    Post a Notice in Town

    If a board for notices is available in town, post a note there asking for book donations. Many people like to help schools and might enjoy donating a box of books that are used or new. On the notice ask residents of the town to drop books off at the school office and put your name on the box of books so the office knows what room the books should be delivered to.