RCHS Hosts Virtual Book Fair

The RCHS Fall Book Fair can be shopped on the JLG website.

The RCHS Fall Book Fair can be shopped on the JLG website.

Grace Frascati, Head Managing Editor

Rockbridge County High School is hosting a virtual book fair from Nov. 2 to Nov. 13. Anyone is welcome to shop the site and purchase books, which will be shipped right to one’s door from JLG (Junior Library Guild). There is a selection of books for every age and reading level from preK through adult. 

RCHS Librarian Amanda Burks is the coordinator for the virtual book fair. 

“Establishing a high school book fair has been one of my goals for a couple of years. The other school libraries of our district hold annual book fairs that their school communities look forward to every year,” said Burks. “I think high school students and their families should also have the opportunity to participate; it’s a great way to purchase new books for the home and for holiday gifts while supporting the school.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Burks decided to hold a virtual instead of an in-person book fair to comply with social distancing guidelines. Nonetheless, Burks feels that the Junior Library Guild is proving to have a great selection.

“I had been in talks with Scholastic but once covid hit, I started the process of looking for virtual options.  Junior Library Guild had just come out with their virtual bookfair and I was impressed with the selection and set up,” said Burks. “I’ve always been a fan of the quality of books JLG offers and their customer service, so I was delighted to see that they were starting a virtual book fair option for high schools. “

  All of the purchases from the virtual book fair will help support the school. RCHS teachers also have wishlists. Shoppers can then purchase books from teachers’ wishlists, and the books will be sent to the teachers. 

“One great feature of the book fair is that teachers can request books for their classrooms. Teachers create wish lists that are published as part of the book fair site. Then when families shop, they can choose to purchase from the wishlist, and the books are sent directly to the teacher,” said Burks. “It really makes our teachers’ days when families gift them books. I’ve seen quite a few smiling faces this week as families buy books for classroom libraries.”

In addition to the new, virtual format of the book fair, the library has adapted to become mostly virtual. 

“The 2020 pandemic has really challenged our library. We had the entire student population learning virtually for the first time ever. Teachers needed digital resources to share and electronic books to assign,” said Burks. “The library invested in eBooks, databases, and streaming video to meet this need which decreased our yearly book budget.”

Due to the increased spending necessary to upkeep a virtual library, the school needs more funding. The goal for the book fair is to raise $2,000. 

“This reality paired with reduced funding has definitely affected our ability to keep our collection current,” said Burks. “The book fair is a great way to give our community the opportunity to support the library’s collection building.”

Click the banner link on the RCHS website (http://rchs.rockbridge.k12.va.us) to shop RCHS’ virtual book fair.