Building a classroom library is something that can’t be done overnight. That would be a serious financial commitment. There are two main ways to get books into your room: buy or borrow. Let’s take a quick run down of the benefits of each.

Buy the Book

This is a good way to get ahold of something if you know you are going to want to use it year after year at a specific time. Buying the books ensures you have it when you want to use it without the hassle of trying to find it somewhere to borrow. This is a MUST for any book you put in your emergency sub plans. Even better: have your district buy the book with your budget.


This is a great way to get books the first time you use them. If you don’t love the lesson or if you aren’t convinced you’ll do it year after year. Try the book first, especially if it’s a pricier new one. Also, SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Get your hands on some books!

  • Bookstores – Obviously this one is a given, and it’s the easiest way to get your hands on some of the newly published books since sometimes those fly off library shelves. If you have a local independent bookstore, see if they can keep an eye out for new music books!
  • Your personal public library: especially if you have a bigger library than the district you teach in.
  • Some districts will allow teachers to have a library card for the district they teach in. This would be a great way to have more options.
  • Interlibrary loan: My local public library is super small. But this system allows me to borrow from other libraries nearby and it gets delivered to my library. The downside with this one is that you have to plan even a little further ahead.
  • The school library: If you work with your school librarian, they may add some music books into their budget for purchasing and you can borrow from the school. It’s a good idea if you borrow books from here to ask the librarian to set them aside for you a few weeks before you want to use them if they are popular or you are really needing to use it!
  • Amazon – Cause…Amazon
  • Search Google with the title of your book and “used”.
  • Music Teachers Buy Sell Trade – This FB group is an awesome resource of music teachers passing on some favorites. Not only will you find books but other materials as well. (Think puppets, manipulatives, instruments).
  • Put them on your Amazon wishlist. We should not have to resort to this to fund our classrooms, but people will buy from your wishlist.
  • Donors Choose
  • Use your school budget

Reminders: If you purchase, or it’s from your wishlist, it’s yours. If it’s Donors Chose or the school budget, it’s the schools. Make sure you inventory things and put your name in your books!

Get a list together

There are hundreds of great books for the music room. This list has a bunch that you can sift through so you can find what you are looking for!


Melissa Stouffer-1

I hope this has been helpful and good luck building those libraries!

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