One thing I didn’t realize when I became a librarian was how attached I’d get to the people who sell me my books. I’m in a unique situation because I have one of the biggest budgets in the county, so I get to spend lots of money, but I feel like my book reps are super helpful and important to what I do.
I get most of my books from Follett and Perma-Bound, but I am very fortunate to have a little service called Junior Library Guild that I just love, love, love. Junior Library Guild is a subscription service that sends freshly-published books to our school each month. I subscribe to fourteen levels, so I get fourteen brand-spanking-new books in a box each month, ready for the kids (and me) to read.
Since 95% of my budget comes all at once, I only order books once a year. I also never know when I’m going to get that money or when the books will come in. One year I did the order in October and got the books in April. This year I did the order in September and got the books in October. Ordering hundreds of books at once is fun (it’s my favorite part of my job), but I always forget books or see something later in the year that I wish I could have. Not all of these books come through JLG, but many of them do. The books are always the best of the best, which also means many of the books we get go on to win big awards later in the year. Often when I see a book around the blogosphere that’s getting a lot of attention, I can just hold off a month or two and it arrives on my desk…problem solved!
We get fourteen levels, which is about all I can squeeze out of their service. The levels we get are: upper elementary and upper elementary plus, graphic novel middle, high interest middle, humor elementary, advanced reader and advanced reader plus, fantasy middle, non-fiction middle, mystery middle, YA and YA plus, paperback high, and high interest high. Every month I get a book from each of those categories, library processed and ready to go. The best part is the price — just $13.95 for a brand-new, hardcover book. Have I made it clear that I think this is amazing?
This year I read a lot of our JLG books before putting them on the shelf:
- Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
- Drawing from Memory by Allen Say
- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
- Level Up by Gene Luen Yang
- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
- Lost and Found by Shaun Tan
- Matched by Allie Condie
- Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart (not yet completed)
- Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde
I’ve got two in my TBR pile right now, All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zelvin and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. But I am most excited about a few of my forthcoming titles that will be arriving in the next couple of months:
I can’t wait!
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