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Class libraries - any money to update?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by lonnie2512, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. lonnie2512

    lonnie2512 New commenter


    I have been a primary school teacher in Tower Hamlets for the past eight years and (as all of us are) am concerned about the impact of school funding cuts on our children. Increasingly overwhelmed - I've chosen to pick just one area to do battle against - access to books. As a result, a a friend and I are investigating setting up a programme where corporations/individuals can donate new books directly to schools, and where used books can be recycled and given to children to take home.

    I was wondering if you can respond to these questions to help me get a wider perspective (sanity check that it's not just at my school where books are mostly sellotape at this point!):

    • How would you describe the quality of books in your book corners? (are they in good condition? age appropriate? Do they appeal to/reflect the pupils?)

    • How does your school fund new books in school? (Has the budget for this changed over the past few years? Is there money allocated for updating class libraries?)

    • What kind of access do you think pupils have to books outside of school? (Do many have books at home? Do they visit the library?)

    • Do you supplement your class / school libraries with books you have bought yourselves?
    This feedback will really help us to assess the need and figure out the next steps!
  2. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I think we're quite well resourced as far as books go but I know that we're strange. (Little bit more support for SEND wouldn't go amiss but hey ho!)

    We have a fairly decent whole school library. The only issue is that it is also a teaching space so often hard to access.

    In class, I have three categories of books. We have author sets. These are all by authors we've looked at in class. We also subscribe to a school library service so we have books relevant to our topics. We update these termly.

    The last set of books are just our class reading books. Some of these are sellotape! Some are not. Both myself and my TA have contributed to these. These are not updated particularly as we have other books which are. There's a fairly good range of books across the three sets covering most age groups and most areas of interest. The library subscription is a godsend though as I can really tailor books to needs without any additional financial commitment.

    Some of my childhood books are also in my room but I keep these on a separate shelf and children must request them, as a few were damaged when they were in the reading corner.

    In terms of access to books outside school, I would say it is limited. I teach in a very deprived area. One thing we have done is tried to increase access to the local library by taking children to visit and by signing them up for cards (with parental permission). The library gave us a stack of forms. We sent them out and returned them for the parents. Cards were then issued to school to give out. We've also really impressed upon parents and children that children do not get fined, there is no cost implication, etc. There has been some uptake.

    I'm not sure how we've funded our books but our business manager is incredible at seeking out and applying for grants, etc. and we have definitely secured a lot of additional resources as a whole in this way. We also use our book fair money for this purpose too. I think more than anything our next step is impressing upon children the value of books and teaching them how to care for them properly. Often, they end up being sellotape because children don't understand how to put them back appropriately.

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