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Thank you for all of the suggestions.  They were great.  I am compiling a
list with prices to turn in to the supervisor.


My original query:

I have been asked to come up with a list of things to buy to update an
elementary library (not my library, but one nearby).  I have $8,000-$10,000
to spend on technology, books, bring it into the 21st century.  The
school is K-5 with about 350 students.  It is a pretty basic library without
any extras - just books. It is automated. The first thing on my list is two
computer search stations.

What would you buy?



I am sure you will get lots of suggestion, mine are general

Books that will make kids laugh with glee. The winners from children's
choice awards around the nation, books by Thayer, Willems, for the 3rd 

graders the gross out books like grossology by Sylvia Branzei.   There 

will have to be some nonfiction, but make it things kids really want to read
about: sports, space, animals (but the ones they love), pets, space,
dinosaurs.  If possible  ask the kids.  Girls will want series

Also get some books on CD/with a player or playaways that can go home with
the kids. Package them with a copy of the book.

Get a subscription to Book Flicks or Sylven/Dell ebooks.

Also subscriptions to fun magazines - only the ones that kids really love.

Focus on the kids. The academics can come later.


Audio books and maybe a few playaways. 

Also a subscription to PebbleGo Science database which is good both at the
library and at home. 


interactive white board, or slate and response system to match!


I say add two more search stations.

Add a good $1k on audiobooks.  I would stick with CDs for now as they are so
much cheaper than Playaways.

Databases?  That would be a good chunk of money.

Add two Flip cameras and two still digital cameras, and software to edit (I
prefer Macs myself).


I would start by analysing collection using Follett's Titlewise and weed and
purchase in needed areas.  Then I would buy a SMART Board, a few FLIP
cameras, digital cameras, and a small collection of Playaways and ebooks. I
would also allot some funds for subscription databases.  I work at a PreK-1
building and have TumbleBooks and PebbleGo for our individual building along
with others on a district basis.  If within your control, I would allot some
funds for staff training so are familiar with the new.

Have fun!


Graphic novels/fiction and non fiction; good fiction that will be popular: 

see archives and journals; lumens camera and projector; laptop to go w/it
for the teacher; laptops for students to share and a means to recharge


World Book on-line, Britanicca on-line, Ebsco...then I would see what
resources are available at the public library.

Weed the science section first... talk to the teachers about their
curriculum. Replace with shiny new books about planets, minerals, gems,
dinosaurs, plants, insects,whales and sharks and mammals. Get some cool
science experiment books and some up to date- human body and health related

Clean out the easy to read and picturebooks next. Throw out anything that
looks nasty or decrepit.

Replace the classics like chicka chicka boom boom and dr. suess. Go big into
some authors for studies like Kevin Henkes, Jon Scieszka, don't forget
curriculum related picture books like Pinkney's biography books, newest one
about Sojourner Truth and picture books for older children like Polacco.
Restart the folklore collection with variations of tales. How many
cinderellas can you find? Rumplestiltskin? Three Bears?

put together a fresh collection of read alouds to attract the early
elementary students-go to the bank street website for the Irma Black winners
for suggestions. 

Don't forget series books for high interest reading.

Put out a community-wide call for paperbacks- put the clean ones in the
collection, give away the damaged and faded ones.


One thing I would definately purchase are playaways!


Sounds exciting! I agree with the computer search stations. I would also buy
an overhead projector and screen (or SmartBoard if you can!). Otherwise,
what about some laptops or maybe netbooks? Is there wireless internet in the
building? if not, maybe some air ports?


How about a subscription to Britannica Online?


for the older kids an elementary database like Gale or Ebsco will help with

Maybe a few laptops if you have wireless capacity.

For sure, computers


This is my list in no particular order:

Flip video cameras

wireless listening centers

smart board with document camera and LCD projector

Playaways and CD audio books

Database subscription(s)

ebook subscription

software and updates such as: microsoft office, keyboarding, comics,
photoshop etc


I can see that this list could get out of hand, but here's what I'd get:

interactive whiteboard/projector/laptop setup for presentations - there are
lots of choices here.  Mimio and eBeam can turn any surface into an
interactive surface, SMART boards and Interwrite boards are fixed surfaces.
You'll have to do some shopping and comparing, but this is a MUST in a
library that's teaching information literacy lessons.

document camera

headsets for listening stations at the computers


database subscriptions (not sure what's available to you for free in TN)

webcam for Skype - there are tons of authors who are willing to meet
virtually for free!

distance learning equipment (if you're really splurging)

digital picture frame - for showcasing what you do in the library

digital camera/video camera 

books from awards lists

more books


I would buy a digital projector to teach searching and researching by having
the ability to project the computer screen.


If possible, out of your budget, I would buy on 'rolling' computer cart.  On
the cart have a projector, speakers, dvd player (HDMI) and a computer (a
netbook would work).  Teachers could sign out the cart for a variety of
reasons:  to show online curriculum items (youtube, howstuffworks, maps,
animated science,etc), powerpoint lessons, movies, etc.



Anne Timbs

Librarian, Roan Creek Elementary

Johnson County Schools

Mountain City, TN


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