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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Most Popular Titles of the Year

I am not nearly done with clean up and other end of the year tasks, but I couldn't t be in the Media Center for about eight hours last week due to special events taking place in the Media Center so I thought I'd put that time to good use by reflecting on this year.  I saw a few other teacher librarians/media specialists were posting their most checked out titles for the year and I thought it was a neat idea. I also thought it might be a good thing to know for future reference, so....


...I am joining the All Star Block Party on The Library Patch and sharing the top 10 Fiction, top 10 Non-fiction, and top 10 Wildcat Favorites checked out this year.  There were several ties so the lists are longer than 10 books.

Top 10 Fiction

#10

 A Bad Case of Stripes
by David Shannon
25 checkouts

#9 
28 checkouts

#8

 Lily's Big Day
by Kevin Henkes
29 checkouts


      Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon
by Patty Lovell
29 checkouts

  Zoo-Looking
by Mem Fox
29 checkouts

#7

  Just Me and My Puppy
by Mercer Mayer
30 Checkouts

#6
31 checkouts

#5 
32 checkouts

#4 

Bark, George
by Jules Feiffer
33 checkouts

#3 

On Top of Spaghetti
by Paul Brett Johnson
35 checkouts

#2 

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
by Laura Numerfoff
41 checkouts

#1 

  Lllama, Llama Red Pajama
by Anna Dewdney
44 checkouts


Top 10 Non-Fiction
#10 
19 checkouts

#9 

AC-130 H/U Gunships
by Carlos Alaverez
20 checkouts

#8 

Humvees by E.S. Budd
21 checkouts

     
Racing Motorcycles
by Denney Von Finn
21 checkouts

#7 
Dirt Bikes
by Sarah Tieck
22 checkouts


     V-22 Ospreys
by Carlos Alvarez
22 checkouts

#6 

MH-53E Sea Dragons by Carlos Alavarez
 23 checkouts

     

Motorcycles! 
by Susan E. Goodman
23 checkouts


     Supersonic Jets
by Denney Von Finn
23 checkouts

#5 
24 checkouts

#4 

AH-1W Super Cobras
by  Carlos Alvarez
26 checkouts


    Army Green Berets
by Jack David
26 checkouts

   
  Strykers
by Carlos Alvarez
26 checkouts

#3 

B-2 Stealth Bombers
by Jack David
28 checkouts


    M2A2 Bradleys
by Jack David
28 checkouts

#2 

Dogs with a Job
by Barbara Patten
29 checkouts

     
29 checkouts

    
The World's Toughest Machines
by Judy Kentor Schmauss
29 checkouts

#1 

Abrams Tanks
by Jack David
32 checkouts


Top 10 Wildcat Favorites

#10 
33 checkouts
33 checkouts
33 checkouts

#9

35 checkouts
Moonlight on the Magic Flute
by Mary Pope Osborne
35 checkouts

#8

  Leprechaun in Late Winter
 by Mary Pope Osborne
37 checkouts

#7
38 checkouts
38 checkouts
38 checkouts

#6
   
40 checkouts

#5
    
48 checkouts

#4
60 checkouts

#3
  
88 checkouts

#2
  
92 checkouts

and the 
#1
 most checked out Wildcat Favorite as well as the most checkout book in the entire collection is...
98 checkouts

Looking at the Wildcat Favorites top 10 just validates that I choose the right books to put in that section.  (Read about the Wildcat Favorites section here.)  I have plans to make a Junior Wildcat section for Kindergarten and First grade books.  It's on my summer to do list.  Maybe it will actually happen.  We'll see.

What about you?  What were the most popular titles checked out in your library/media center?




Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Magazine FUN?draiser

We ended our last fundraiser for the Media Center for this year a few weeks ago.   It was a magazaine subscription fundraiser and we get to keep 40% of the profits.  The company who offered the fundraiser, Great American Oppotunities in conjunction with QSP presented it as an easy, no hassel way to raise money, and my patrons have really enjoyed being able to check out magazines this year, so I accepted the opportunity.


Here is the jest of how this fundraiser worked.  Students were given a fundraiser packet which included:

1 postcard booklet
1 magazine catalog
5 order forms
2 collection envelopes
1 prize description sheet
1 duck coupon sheet



Students were told about the items in a packet during an assemlby to kick off the fundraiser.  Prizes that could be earned were also highlighted during the assembly. For our fundraiser, the QSP representative decided to use small rubber duck keychains as prizes for selling up to four magazines.  If students returned the postcard booklet the next day with at least 7 family and friends names/addresses they received their first duck (on a lanyard) with duck food for the duck (candy).


After they sold 1 or more magazine subscriptions, they filled out a duck coupon and returned it on Thursday for another duck.  They could turn in up to 5 duck coupons for up to 5 more ducks.  Students were encouraged to wear their ducks every day and "duck feeders" (specially chosen faculty members, a.k.a. me) were to pass out duck food randomly during the day to students who were wearing their ducks.  You would not believe how excited the students got about all of this.  I myself was in shock because I was not told about having to give out candy everyday.  I couldn't exactly leave the Media Center to go feed the ducks.  Yeah, not real happy about that one.  Luckily my Principal and Assistant Principal stepped in and "feed" the ducks during their time at lunch duty each day.

If students sold 6 or more magazine subscriptions they could earn bigger prizes:


6 magazine subscriptions:    Mystery prize bag


9 magazine subscriptions:    light up sunglasses


12 magazine subscriptions:  Cash cow with hidden velcro pocket in back;
the cow could contain up to $10 in cash



15 magazine subscriptions :  Air guitar


25 magazine subscriptions:  Chatty Chimpunk, a toy that repeats what you say in a high pitched voice


35 magazine subscriptions:  An Skype headset and webcam

Needless to say, the students were super excited about the prizes, especially the ducks, which is good because most students didn't sell more than 1 magazine subscription.  In fact the highest seller only sold 12 subsriptions total, which is still a lot of subscriptions to me.

I am now realizing that although it was presented as a simple program, it is not really a one person run it all kind of fundraiser. The kids had fun earning prizes, but it was a LOT of work collecting the postcard booklets and keeping track of who had earned ducks and what ducks they had received so they wouldn't get duplicates.  And the ducks were very annoying in class as well.  Teachers were telling me that their students were swinging the lanyards around, trading ducks, and then wanting them back, and just in general bugging teachers about when they would be receiving their ducks.  It became a kind of inside joke to quack at me, a joke I didn't much find funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now. By the end of the fundraiser, I never wanted to see another rubber duck again.

What I did like about the program was that every student could earn at least one prize just by filling out the postcard booklet.  What I didn't like was that the company required that the booklet be brought back the next day.  One day just isn't enough time.  However, having a one day deadline did keep me from having to figure out who got a duck lanyard every single day.  It might work better if the kickoff was on a Friday and studnets had over the weekend to get the postcards filled out and returned. The way our schedule worked out, we had to do the kickoff on a Monday.

It would be a great fundraiser for PTO to take over next year, but to have to keep up with money, prizes, who didn't turn in what, double check to be sure payments were included and checks were written correctly and still teach lessons and run check out was really almost not worth the trouble.  I am still not sure how much money we made because I have yet to receive a check from the company.  I know how much money was turned in, but part of that money included a $1.50 processing fee per household, so I really don't have an exact amount to take 40% from.  I am expecting about $1,200 if not a bit more.  I was also told that we could expect an average of $10 extra dollars per postcard booklet that was returned because people may buy subscriptions online after receiving their postcard in the mail.  We had about 140 of those returned, so if the figure is correct, I should expect $1,400 from those.   It may be next school year before I get the final total, so I guess I will wait until then to decide whether or not to try it again next year.

So what about you?  Do you undertake any fundraisers besides Book Fairs to raise money for your Library/Media Center?



Update: On May 30th, I received a check for $1,348.40...a bit more than I estimated, so wohooo!  Now I can order labels, decor, and prizes for next year.  Time to shop!  =)