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Library revamp - buying vs loaning books

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jel73, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. jel73

    jel73 New commenter

    Our poor neglected KS2 library is getting a long overdue facelift over the summer! We are having a company come in to audit all of our books, chuck out the ones which are damaged and/or out of date and to identify the gaps in our stock. We reckon that only about 20% will be left - and, as an expanding school, that is very few indeed.

    We then have two options - sign up for a loan package whereby we can change books as often as we like, or buy new books outright.

    I would be interested if people have experience of loaning books - both positive and negative! I'm really not sure which option is best.

    Many thanks in advance.
  2. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Hmmm... We had someone come in and chuck out about 80% of our stock (most of which I brought home). Anything more than a few years old was binned, including odd, quirky titles from small print runs, and most of the classics. I was stunned - my childhood reading matter mostly consisted of a large number of my mother's childhood books and books from jumble sales, and second-hand books bought by the carrier-bag-load from Hay-on-Wye before it went all upmarket and expensive - one of my all-time favourite books was an Edwardian-era children's encyclopaedia! I was no stranger to hardback covers or scuffed corners, so knew that we were losing more than just a few tired books when the big clear-out came.

    We are still struggling ten years on to restock, because there just isn't the money available. We buy from companies using funding raised from their book sales to parents, so what we have is largely bland and limited to a few modern authors, which is mostly what the children have at home already.

    It seems weird that we can't allow children to read or value old books. I often use my rescued stash at home to find a relevant passage of great description or dialogue, knowing I'm very unlikely to find anything I actually need in school.

    Buying or renting, it's very unlikely you'll ever recreate the diversity of reading material you currently have. Save what you can, unless you really believe children should only read new or recently-printed titles.
    harsh-but-fair likes this.
  3. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    The trouble is that books are competing with all sorts of distractions in children's lives these days. I can honestly say that in 12 years of manageing the school library all those old, tatty books just generally don't get read. The only tatty ones in the library that are read are tatty because they are the current favourite ones going round...the ones that go from child to child and barely see the bookshelf. Remember children have far more choice of books than we did years ago.
    I spent years trying to encourage my top readers to read classics in their own time. Last year I found out how to do it most successfully. They brought out new editions of them in slightly bigger books with slightly bigger fonts, and up to date new covers. I put a set in each of the classes for my year...and off they flew.
    I tried to get some new books on the shelves every term at least...even if I had to stagger putting a few in to do it. That element of surprise kept the library a living place.
    I'd check out the money involved both ways, the length of the loans contract, and if there are time costs (like sorting out their books to return them;maybe putting their books on your system, or keeping them separate somehow) or benefits (do they do all the covering, labelling and barcoding?) Remember, that even from next year you will need to replace some worn out books (hopefully, as they will have all raced off the shelves!)(10% of the value of the library per year gives you replacement of all stock over 10 years)
  4. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Now I should make it clear my library is a university library, but they still have some interesting practice.

    They offer ebooks on a kindle (which the library pays a one off loan fee to th publisher for each time) and if three people download the book they purchase the ebook and a physical copy of the book. Thus the downloads act as a trigger to indicate it is a popular book.

    I would also really urge a greater range of non-fiction. As a genre, it has really widened in recent years and they are more popular than you might think with some younger readers. The research also says that the vocabulary is harder as well and the books allow for dipping so weaker readers can upgrade their vocabulary by accessing these books.
    galerider123 likes this.
  5. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    We have been subscribing to a Schools' Library Service since last year and it has had really positive impact in terms of increasing our range of books for various topics we teach. We struggle to store books so it's great that they are delivered and collected on a half-termly basis. The teachers re-stock their book corners and new books are added to the library regularly; we purchase any of the popular ones. Getting close to 50 books for a topic is great and there is no way we would be able to purchase or store them for each topic we teach.
  6. princess77

    princess77 New commenter

  7. teacup71

    teacup71 Occasional commenter

    We decided to buy books each year because the loan system we had did not give us a good choice.
    Every World Book Day I ask the parents to have a Spring Sort Out and donate books their children have finished with. Always gets a good reaction. Fills our library and class libraries.

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