Ask the Librarian: September 2017
by Deborah B. Ford

I want to start a book club. How do I fund it?—Anonymous Librarian in TX

As Kate DiCamillo says, “Stories give kids the language to talk about things that matter.” Book clubs are a great way to provide kids with a platform to do it. I once worked with a middle school book club that averaged 60 parents and children every month. We read two books a month, which could be pretty costly. The power of Super Thrifter worked there. It can work for you too. Here are some ways you can make your money count.

  • Use the JLG backlist. Many books are as low as $5. They’ll last you longer than a paperback at the same price. Use the Advanced Search feature to identify books for your age group in your price range.
  • Select books that have lasting value. Rotate your selections every 3 or 4 years. You’ll have mostly new kids by then. Try some of the award winning selections you’ll find in our Outstanding Booklists From STEAM to Notables, you’ll find dozens of books your kids will want to discuss.
  • Start a Love our Library page for the purpose of raising money for your club. It’s easy to set up. All you have to do is advertise. Watch this video and get started today.
  • Have a Read-A-thon. The first $2,000 of funds raised from your Read-a-thon® account is allocated to your JLG Membership, and we will match up to 25% (max of $500) during your first year. Contact your account rep for more information.
  • Check out JLG’s book grant page. You’ll find links to many grants that can assist you in funding your program.

Have a question for Deb? Contact her.

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