How to Have an Amazing Classroom Library Without Going Broke

A well-stocked classroom library is absolutely critical in elementary school, no matter what grade you teach. If children are going to learn to read, they need to have books in their hands. The problem is, more and more teachers are walking into empty classrooms and not given budgets to fill them.

A 2016 report by Scholastic found that 56% of teachers purchased books for their classrooms out of their own pocket. They also found that the average elementary school classroom contains 362 books.

I'll give you a moment to consider the cost of this.

Pretty significant, isn't it?! Chances are, at least half of the people reading this blog are purchasing books for their classrooms, so I want to share some tips for finding good-quality books without breaking the bank.

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!


Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
"If you don't ask, you don't get." Include a small request in your classroom newsletter for families to send in any books that their children have outgrown. If you have a Facebook profile, ask your friends and family members if they have children's books that they'd like to get rid of.

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
Most communities have a second-hand bookstore. These often have a great selection of children's books at very reasonable prices, and you can sometimes even trade in books of your own in exchange. This is definitely an option to consider.

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!If you have any local weekend flea markets, I'd highly recommend checking these out for books. If you really get lucky you can walk away with an entire box of books for only a couple of dollars!

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
As the spring and summer weather arrives, families begin the never-ending job of decluttering and purging of things their children no longer use. Books are usually high on this list. This is an especially great way to stock up on early chapter books, because once a child reads these they're finished with them, unlike picture books that are enjoyed over and over. Also, as a child's reading skills grow, these books are quickly outgrown.

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
I KNOW you remember receiving the monthly Scholastic book order when you were a student. As a teacher I STILL get excited to crack those flyers open to see what is inside! The prices on Scholastic books are usually highly discounted over the cover price you'd find in a bookstore. If you spend a little more to grab some of the bundles the overall cost per book can be as low as one dollar. Great deal for brand-new books!

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
There are many Facebook groups and websites dedicated to the sharing of second-hand goods. Keep an eye on these often for people looking to unload unused books or post a looking-for ad to let people know you're interested.

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!
Make book hunting part of your regular shopping routine by regularly checking out bargain bins in your local department or book stores. These are generally restocked every few weeks and can be a great source of inexpensive, new children's books.

I'm sure there are other great options out there and would love to hear where you've scored kids' books at great prices. Leave me a comment at the end of this post!

Ready to get your classroom library organized? You might be interested in my colorful Classroom Library Organization resource!

Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!

You'll find more great classroom hacks and money-saving tips on this Pinterest board:


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Building a classroom library on a budget is possible, if you know where to look. Check out this teacher's favorite places to find bargain children's books and build a library of great kids' books for your classroom without breaking the bank!

Thank you to Educlips for the book clip art used in the headings.

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