Organizing a Book Swap at School

Many children get tired of reading the same books after awhile, but if they have been taught to respect books, they will have many books in great shape and ready for the next reader to possess.

A good place to exchange books is to arrange for a book swap at your child’s school. Here are some easy tips to host this event with a minimum of work.

Any one of the teachers or the librarian could be put into the leadership position for this event. The duties of the leader will be to set a date and location, decide on exactly how the exchange will work, get some help lined up and get some publicity designed, created and produced. At least a couple helpers could be in charge of ‘spreading the word.’

Each classroom teacher will encourage her class to participate and explain how the event will work. In most cases an even exchange will work best and keep paperwork to a minimum.

This event works even better if you have a previous drive to collect donated books first. The condition of books collected should be fairly good. Reading levels for all ages should be collected. The better variety of titles you have the better chance your event will be a success. Many schools should even accept adult books if they are appropriate to put on a table just for teens or adults.

When a child arrives he will be given a colored ticket to indicate how many books he brought in to exchange. As each book is picked out, the adult leader at that table will simply give him a ticket with the proper color for the number of books he has left.

The tickets could be simple pieces of specially marked construction paper with red for 1 book, yellow for 2, for blue for 3 etc. This is what the person receives for the amount of books they bring in to swap.

Kids will not start selecting books till most books are placed on tables. The selection can include those books the library has decided to eliminate. It can also be filled with previous exchange or donated books collected. The book brought that day can also be added before kids start looking for books.

Books should be spread out on large tables. They could be arranged by age, subject, nonfiction, fiction or however, you feel suits the amount of books you have to swap.

If a child changes their mind about a title, it would be little trouble to let them switch their selections.

You could add to the fun and sell food to raise money for the library. You might also create some really great bookmarks to sell to raise money or the classrooms could take on an arts and craft project to make book marks for each child before the event.

You could feature some write ups about some famous and best loved children’s titles or best seller lists for children’s books. Post near the tables or on a board in a central place to remind parents of the quality titles out there to encourage reading for children. This could also be available as a hand out. A list of the public libraries events with story time or children’s authors present could also be valuable to parents and their children.