What You Don’t Know About the Book Fair

img_0564Aaaaaargh! It’s a pirate theme this year at the Scholastic Book Fair, the pop-up bookstore that invaded the Franklin library last week.

We asked the Franklin Media Center’s Ben Lundholm (better known as Mr. L.) for the inside scoop on why we do the Book Fair. He gave us six ways the Scholastic Book Fair benefits our kids:

  1. “We make several thousand dollars every year that we put directly into books for the library. Last year alone, I think we earned around $4,000 for the library.
  2. “The Book Fair gives me a chance to see which newer books are ‘hot’ with students. As they’re looking, I look with them, and I watch what they’re looking at to get an idea about what we need to order. In the past, this has helped me order books (or types of books) that have become some of our most frequently checked out materials.
  3. “Of our top 50 most checked out books from the last year, a good percentage were purchased with Scholastic funds. Some of the ones I know we ordered with Scholastic funds that have been checked out like crazy: the graphic novels based on the classics, the Guinness Books, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! books, the Amulet series, and many of our other graphic novels (like Sisters and Drama and Big Nate). We also purchased some really popular animal books and a print encyclopedia, which is something we didn’t have before—and also something that frequently gets used and checked out for various reports.
  4. “I’ve never seen more creative, high-level thinking from a group of human beings than I’ve seen when the kids try to figure out how many of a particular item is in the jar (to win the voucher for a book). Last year, it was eyeballs to match the monster theme; this year it’s gold coins to match the pirate theme… Anyone who doubts the intelligence, focus, and/or thoughtfulness of our kids, should come in when they’re discussing the game and/or the prize. They will not be worried about our youth or our prospects for the future.
  5. “This can be a chance for kids to practice the skills we teach them in the library every year about how to choose a good book. We go over techniques like look at the cover, read the first page, read the summary on the back, ask a friend, look for an author you like, look for a type of book you like, etc. This is a way for them to practice those techniques.
  6. “The book fair is also great because the kids love it. They’re always really excited about the books.”

Now you know! Thanks, Mr. L!

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