Tag Archives: school library subscriptions

Back To School

Preparing the school library for next year

With the summer break nearly over and the new school year right around the corner, now is the time to do some crucial groundwork for the year ahead. The students are gone, the space is empty and it’s quieter. What better time to evaluate your library and plan ahead?

So what can you do to prepare for the next school year?

Well, there’s a lot you could be doing, but here are some ideas to set you on your way. First off, this is the opportunity to evaluate the past year in your library. What went well? What wasn’t a success? By asking yourself these questions from the start, you can rule out repeating what didn’t go work well and reallocate your time and budget to something that really works.

This may sound obvious, but this is a great opportunity to clean up and reorganize. There’s nobody around, so if you do this now, it’ll make your life so much easier. And while you’re at it, review your systems and processes, and your marketing as well. If something’s not quite right, get prepared for the new school year and sort it out before the students return.

The library space

Are you making the best use of your library space? If you think it could do with a makeover, now’s the time. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself – get people to help. People love to get involved in worthwhile community projects, and what better cause than their school library? Check out these great resources for ideas.

First impressions

When school starts again, there’ll be a whole new set of students who have never seen your library before. What would you like their first impression to be? If this doesn’t match what you’re seeing right now, you’ve got plenty of time to do something about it.  

And what about their first impression of you and your team? It’s worth giving some thought now to what you’re going to say in orientation sessions for new students. And when you introduce them to the library, you could offer sessions where they can talk about what they’ve read over the summer – it’ll bring them back into the library and it’s an activity they can all join in. There will be new teachers as well, so think about how you want to start the ball rolling with them.

Try something new

A new year is a fresh start, even if you’re at the same school. It calls for new ways of encouraging students into the library, and getting them to read more. A good way to do this is to get up-to-date with the latest books. Start your research with the School Library Journal’s [Best Books 2018]. If you can offer what’s new and talked about, they’ll come back for more.  

Your role is key to student success

We all know that the library serves a really important role in the school community. By investing a bit of time in your library, you and the students will see the rewards further down the line. This might be putting together a great collection of books and magazines. It could also be setting up collaborative projects with teachers, helping them integrate library or web resources into their instructional material. It’s actually been proven that what you do as school librarians [impacts directly on student achievement], so now’s the time to instigate some great plans.

The benefits associated with good library programs are strongest for the most vulnerable and at-risk learners, including students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities”

Last but by no means least…

Now’s the time to work through any problems with suppliers. At WT Cox we’re practiced at listening and working with our customers to help them provide the best library subscription service possible – that’s what we’re here for. In fact, school libraries have been the cornerstone of our business since 1974 – yes, over 45 years. And we continue to support schools across the nation today. No matter whether your library is small or large.

Our services for schools include:

  • Streamlined, cost-effective service and quick, no-obligation quotes
  • Cohesive management of entire school districts
  • A huge range of options – nearly 300,000 print and electronic titles
  • CoxNet, our exclusive, web-based subscription management software
  • Easy claims, renewals, invoicing and customizable reports
  • A personal customer service specialist familiar with your account
  • Quick replacement of missing issues, free of charge
  • Training – our team of professionals is available for online training as well as onsite visits
  • Free catalog offering our top 3000 titles for your library
  • Lists featuring our most popular titles for schools
  • Digital magazines via RBdigital

So use the summer wisely. Be proactive and get your library into the best shape it’s ever been. And call on us for help – we’re known for our hassle-free approach and exceptional service standards, so you won’t look back.

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School Library Month – 7 Ways to Celebrate

April 2019 is School Library Month – the American Association of School Librarians’ celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April since 1985, school librarians have been hosting activities to help their school and local community celebrate the library – in particular the major role school library programs play in transforming learning. This is the month where your school library subscriptions come into their own.

The 2019 theme for School Library Month is Everyone Belongs @ Your School Library. That means students, educators, parents, from all walks of life. The library crosses all barriers and brings communities closer together.

Fostering a love of reading…

This year’s spokesperson is the New York Times bestselling author Dav Pilkey. Dav overcame dyslexia and ADHD as a child, going on to create award-winning books for children, including the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series. Most significantly, the library played a significant role in Dav’s journey, as he discovered his love of reading through visiting the library with his mom.

You can share on your website, or screen in your library, a video from Dav on the importance of school libraries and reading.

Need some inspiration for School Library Month?

Here are some top tips for drawing in the crowds, and helping your library visitors celebrate School Library Month.

  1. Host a guest speaker. You could ask a local author to come in and talk about their books. Or, you might find someone who can bring alive a subject that students are currently studying.
  2. Use the ALA’s printable poster to promote School Library Month and your library’s events. Download here.]
  3. Hold a session on How to Spot Fake News. Ask students to evaluate websites using the IFLA’s graphic guide, and ask them to discuss their opinions, or even draw up their own guides.
  4. Use social media to share your ideas for celebrating School Library Month. You can upload pictures or videos to Twitter or Facebook showing events you’re hosting.
  5. Book clubs are a great way to get people together and share their experiences. And if you start them young, children will become used (if not addicted!) to these group activities.
  6. Host book tastings. Pick a book genre – mystery, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, you name it. It’s a great way to introduce readers to new material they might never have considered trying. Make your school library subscriptions really work for you.
  7. Connect students at your library with students at a different library, like pen pals. You can brainstorm the best ways to do this. Then, they can share their ideas about how they use their library, and create a graphic highlighting their different experiences.

You can find even more ideas on the ALA’s website.


So, get pages turning, and people talking. This is your opportunity to promote your library and the wonderful work it does in your community. School library subscriptions are at the heart of our business, and we’d love for you to share with us examples of the events and initiatives you’ve hosted for School Library Month!

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Utilizing Makerspace in Your School Library

You’re more than likely familiar with the term Makerspace. This concept of a communal creative space is fast gaining in momentum, and the library is right at the heart of it.

So what’s behind the makerspace project?

Although the term’s familiar, it’s not immediately clear what it means. Makerspaces are spaces dedicated to hands-on activity, creating actual products. So makerspace activities will involve all kinds of materials and equipment, like cardboard and tape to design and make models, or computers and cameras to produce films or podcasts.

The idea behind all of this is to boost students’ creative thinking and problem solving, to become innovators. It’s a big deal in the education world, increasingly so.

So where does the school library come in?

Apart from making the physical space available for use as makerspace, the library is key to providing the resources to fuel all this creative thinking.

Let’s take some simple examples. Students are set the task of finding 10 things to make with a cardboard box – maybe simple, but a really fun and creative project. Or, building and racing magnetic cars. Producing a short animated film using Lego. Apart from some really productive collaborative efforts, what students also need here is resources to consult and help them expand their thinking. And that’s where school library subscriptions come in.

Looking through your favorite titles in your school library, you might find 3D World, How it Works, Popular Mechanics, or Woodsmith Magazine, and many more. There are a huge number of magazines available, all of which would provide no end of useful ideas in carrying out and fine tuning these projects.

How do I find out what resources are available?

WT Cox has created a list of Makerspace titles available. Not only that, we’re also able to offer RB Digital magazines amongst your school library subscriptions.

For younger children too, there’s all sorts of inspiration in subscriptions including Arts & Activities, Brainspace Magazine, Science & Children, and many others.

Click here to view a full list of top titles and resources available from WT Cox to help you build your collections.  

If you want to learn more about makerspaces and how your library fits in, there are many websites out there dedicated to makerspace resources. They’ll also help you figure out what you might need including school library subscriptions. You can find out more at

makerspaces.com or the OEDb’s Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces, to name but a few.

Last but not least

Right at the core of the makerspace movement is the importance of students learning how to draw on information in order to get creative and solve problems. And to do that, they need plenty of resources.

There are so many useful titles available for your library. It makes sense to incorporate these makerspace titles in your personalized pricing when building your school library subscriptions quote from us. Just contact us at sales@wtcox.com and we’ll be happy to help.

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