PUBLISHED: 4:40 PM on Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Book fair fuels library programs
Mendenhall River Community School

Courtesy photo
  Raandi Miller stands beside boxes of books for the upcoming fair.
Raandi Miller stands beside a tower of cardboard boxes, an imposing stack of brown packages piled in a corner of the Mendenhall River School library. The Scholastic Books stamp on each box hints at the treasure inside - The Magic Tree House, Dr. Suess, Captain Underpants and Harry Potter - beloved children's literature ordered for the fall book fair. But this event is more than an enticing storybook buffet, it is an important school fund-raiser.

Each year Miller, the school librarian, organizes two sales to supplement the library's modest budget and support her work with students. Supplied by educational publisher Scholastic, her book fairs offer hundreds of contemporary titles for young readers and generate a percentage of their proceeds for the library's general fund.

Miller reinvests the earning in library resources. Every student at Mendenhall River attends a weekly library lesson, classes which require books and supplies.

Younger children gather for stories paired with music and movement, and check out books for classroom use.

Older students practice library and research skills, or work on special projects. Last year some studied origami, while others explored poetry and poets, and choose a favorite poem to send to someone they loved. Miller also stocks resources for parents. The library has parenting books and literature based backpacks that open to reveal books, videos, and other items that explore everything from dinosaurs to cooking.

This fall's book fair will run from Nov. 13-22, during a week of school and the two days of parents-teacher conferences that follow. Select posters and toys will supplement book displays. Miller and MRCS library assistant Carrie Pusich will be on hand to help students and parents sort through the joke books, easy readers, chapter books, and the newest installments of those great series.

"We'll have 'The End,'" she said. "Book the Thirteenth" in the "Series of Unfortunate Events" saga.