Finding Funds for a Classroom Library

We know that students who grow up in environments flooded with books, they tend to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. However, because many home are not “print-rich” environments, it behooves teachers to create classrooms in which there is a flood of high-interest texts. Yet, as Kelly Gallagher puts it, “building a classroom library is a career-long pursuit” (Readicide, p. 54), because it ain’t cheap.

Lately I’ve been gleaning much from Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do about It. On the same page as the quotation above, Gallagher has a list of avenues for finding funds for classroom libraries. To it (in bold), I’ve added a few more that have worked for me:

  • Principal’s discretionary funds
  • Title I money
  • Title II money
  • School improvement funds
  • One-time money
  • Grant money
  • Curriculum cycle money
  • Organizing book drives
  • Ordering books from
  • Soliciting donations at Back-to-School night
  •’s used books ($.01 + $3.99 shipping = $4 titles)
  • praying
  • Random House exam copies (generally $3 / book, with a limit of 10 orders per year per teacher)
  • Book reviews! The following publishers have review copy programs set up for bloggers. Usually, this means you get a free book in return for writing an honest review of it.
    • Waterbrook Multnomah (Blogging for Books)
    • Thomas Nelson (“Book Sneeze”)
    • Inter-Varsity Press
    • And for those publishers who don’t, here’s a great post on how to get access to their books, too.

May our students become more literate through the books that we make accessible to them!



About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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