There has been a lot of discussion about book fairs in the school library circle lately. Scholastic has long been a favorite book fair vendor, and for good reason. It’s a well known company and the bright red cases calls forth nostalgic feels for many people.
However, Scholastic is also missing a few key ingredients. People have complained about difficulty with restocks, customer service and registers. A key complaint this year was the $150 delivery fee due to increased gas prices.
I have been less than impressed with the quality of binding from Scholastic books, even the library bound ones. I find that after just a few circulations, spines need repaired.
I did an interest call with Literati, because that’s the new vendor on the scene. I was excited about all the good things I had heard and was looking forward to doing a Fall Scholastic Fair and a Spring Literati Fair.
In the end, I stuck with Scholastic and here is why!
It’s really all about their Scholastic Dollars Program!
1. Putting books in the hands of kids!
My #1 goal during book fair is to put books in the hands of kids. Period. End of story. Do I also make money and buy books for the library? Yes, yes I do!
However, I want staff and students to buy, buy, buy because books in homes and books in classrooms are important. I use my Scholastic Dollars to help stretch student and staff budgets.
For staff, that means an automatic 25% discount on all purchases.
For students, it means upselling until students are just over the amount of money they have and using Scholastic Dollars to cover the difference.
Not only does this put books in the hands of kids, but by upselling purchases, I’m doing more in sales.
2. Rewards & Celebrations!
It is impossible for me to run a successful library program without help and support from other school staff. I use book fair time as a time to reward and thank staff for their support. I routinely hand out coupons for $$ off their purchase at the Scholastic Book Fair when they do things that benefit me and the library program.
I used Scholastic Dollars to take off those amounts. It makes everyone happy!
3. The school!
Additionally, I use Scholastic Dollars to purchase things for our school store. Many of our students want the journals and expensive books that come with the fair. I use Scholastic Dollars to purchase highly popular but seldom purchased items to donate to the store. Students can earn a school-based currency to purchase those items at the store.
When I spoke to a rep at Literati, they did not yet have a program similar to Scholastic Dollars. At some point, I probably will give other companies a try! It’s just not yet!