S.O.S. Library — Beginning Your Own Success Story

Finding a way to keep growing your collection when budgets are being slashed may seem like a story without a happy ending. Yet, Bound to Stay Bound can help provide a happy ever-after for your school’s collection with S.O.S. Library. Best of all, you are building a collection that will last for years thanks to the quality that distinguishes a Bound to Stay Bound book.

At a time when schools are increasingly focused on the Common Core State Standards and the challenges and opportunities that brings, it is more important than ever to ensure that your collection is up to the task. S.O.S. Library can help you build your collection in the way that best meets your needs, with a wish list you create and control.

The S.O.S. Library journeys of two librarians from very different schools can provide inspiration. Heather Stephens is a librarian at McBee Elementary School in Austin, Texas. She heard about the program from a colleague and was curious. While on the Bound to Stay Bound site to register for the Jessica Sibert Memorial drawing, Heather clicked on the link for more information on the S.O.S. Library Program. “I decided that, since all the pieces were already in place, it was an easy option worth pursuing.”

Heather found that “The donation website was a cinch to set up and pass along–it’s easy for people to donate online and at their convenience.” She also took advantage of the many supplemental materials provided by Bound to Stay Bound to help her promote the program.

“I really appreciate having total control over my wish list,” comments Heather, and she has some useful tips for others beginning the S.O.S. process: “I suggest having a theme or a focus for your wish list. I focused on replacing our well-loved copies of classic titles and adding new titles by popular authors: books nobody would want to imagine a school library without!” This emotional connection no doubt helped her marketing efforts as donors reveled in the idea of providing a copy of a title like Charlotte’s Web to their school library.

“This approach allowed me to spend my regular school budget on addressing other collection development goals.” And Heather was able to replace worn-out copies of E.B. White’s classics, The Polar Express and new favorites by Mo Willems with long-lasting Bound to Stay Bound editions.

Like many schools, most of the families at Heather’s school were not in a financial position to make donations. “I relied on our teachers and on social media to get the word out to friends, families, and community members.”

Kurt Axe at Roanoke Catholic School in Roanoke, Virginia, uses the S.O.S. Library as a birthday book club. Before coming to S.O.S. Library, Kurt had participated in a program with another company that was strictly focused on fundraising for the Library but found it ultimately did not suit his specific needs. Kurt’s vision for the birthday book club became a reality because of the tools in place for S.O.S. Library customers.

Like Heather, Kurt created and controlled his wish list, including selections that would resonate with potential donors. The S.O.S. links on the school library page take people straight to his library’s wish list. Parents and friends not only purchase the book but they can order book plates. “I can see who has purchased which book along with the forms from parents that include their children’s birthdays,” explains Kurt. “When I get the books, I make them available to the children whose parents purchased them first,”–a smart marketing move that affirms both the contribution and the student.

The funding for Kurt’s library–like most school libraries–is limited. Kurt wants to ensure that he is spending his precious budget on books that will last. His predecessors purchased regular trade editions, often from bookstores, and they did not hold up to repeat readings. “That’s why I was excited about these books coming from Bound to Stay Bound,” remarks Kurt. “I am very pleased!”

Heather Stephens shares that sentiment: “The S.O.S. Library program gives you a professional and proactive way to call attention to the budget shortages facing school libraries and to reach out to new donors.”

Are you ready to begin your own success story? Contact Bound to Stay Bound and S.O.S. Library can help you find your happy ending, too.

S.O.S. Library Tips:

  1. Start a Birthday Book Club.
  2. Use social media to go beyond your school’s families.
  3. Take advantage of the S.O.S. Library resources and materials.
  4. Build a wish list around a specific theme that meets your goals and will connect with your audience.
  5. Make donors feel special by letting them or their children read the book first.