Delaware News

Book fair events benefit more than school finances


In a world of Kindles and Nooks, students still are checking out and reading actual books from their school libraries.

Many elementary schools conduct book fairs in order to raise money to purchase books for their school resource centers.

Schultz Elementary School will hold its book fair through Friday, Oct. 18, during normal school hours, with a special family night from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, that's open to the public.

Rose Long, Schultz library media specialist, said although there are students with e-readers and electronic books are available online, many students can't afford the technology.

"It costs money to purchase electronic devices and it's costly to replace if one of them gets damaged," she said. "There is still a need for our kids to have physical books in their hands."

The library has a budget to purchase materials for the school library, but with Schultz being the largest elementary school in the district, one copy of a popular book isn't going to be enough to go around.

"If you look at one shelf of hardback books, you would be amazed at how little $1,000 worth of books looks on a shelf," she said.

By hosting the book fair, the library will receive 50 percent of the profit from families' and students' book purchases.

In addition, the school will receive some copies of books for free as well as a percentage off any books officials want to purchase for the library.

The library provides informational services to students in order to help them navigate through fiction and nonfiction works. Long said students are taught how to find books on their reading level, shown how to handle books, and are given information about authors and illustrators.

Long said she's been surprised at the number of nonfiction books students check out.

"Students are checking out cookbooks to bring home and share with their families. Students are interested in biographies," she said. "There is such a variety of interest and even a variety among the same student."

Long said she thinks it's important that students share their books with their families -- and their families share with them as well.

"It's so good for kids to see their parents reading for enjoyment," she said. "It's good for them to read so they do better in school."