No Money for Books? Start a Birthday Book Club!

Are you wishing you had money to buy new books for your learning community? If so, start a Birthday Book Club!

A Birthday Book Club invites families to recognize their child’s birthday by donating a book or money to the school library. Each donation is recognized by placing a bookplate with the child’s name on the front endpaper of the new book.

A successful Birthday Book Club relies on delivering timely notices, taking pictures, and promoting the program.

Follow these steps to raise funds for your library.

Step 1 

Work with the school secretary to generate a spreadsheet that includes every student’s name, their birthday, and homeroom. If your school has an attendance program like PowerSchool, sorting this information is not a big deal.

Step 2 

Purchase bookplates from your favorite library supply store. Demco has cute cupcake bookplates that are perfect for birthday donations.

Step 3

Create an Amazon Wish List and add all of the wonderful books you want for the library. You can add and delete books from this list at any time.

Step 4 

Write an informational letter about the Birthday Book Club. Include the Amazon Wish List link in the letter so parents and grandparents can start shopping!

Click here to get a copy of the letter that you can edit.

Send information about the Birthday Book Club to families one week before each child’s birthday.

Step 5 

Dedicate a space in the library to take a picture of the birthday child with their donated book. Look for a place with the best lighting and a nice background.

Step 6

Send an email to parents thanking them for their donation. Attach the birthday photo.

Step 7

Make a monthly video with Animoto highlighting the donations. Share the link to the video in a monthly newsletter or on the district website. Animoto is intuitive and has a free version. I pay for my subscription because it eliminates the Animoto watermark and I use it a lot!

Not Enough Time?

Ask a parent or retired citizen to run the program. They love this stuff! They will also help spread the word about the program when talking to people in the community.

Any Other Ideas?

How are you funding your book purchases? Let’s share all of our successful programs to help school libraries keep their library collection vibrant for children.


Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Skillshare Teacher:

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Collection Development

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1 reply

  1. How do you address people sending in checks to the school to pay for the books? How does the book keeping work in the schools that are doing this?

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