This is the first of several posts on how I set up my middle grade library.
When teachers stop by my room, I’m often asked about shelf space and where I get all my shelves. When I first started teaching, I would buy them at Wal-mart or Target and the shelves were great. But after a few years of heavy book tubs, they just weren’t lasting. Then, I discovered Craigslist! Yes, fellow teachers, Craigslist is my favorite place for teacher furniture. For the same (or lower) price as a particle board shelving set, I can get a sturdy metal shelf that is light and easy to move around. Here are a few of my finds. I have about 10 or so in the room right now that I have acquired over the last few years.
3 Things I’ve Learned From Shopping on Craigslist for Teaching Furniture
1. Be nice to your husband. He has the muscles and vehicle for transporting shelves and carrying them to your classroom. Plus, you need him because it is NEVER ok to go Craigslisting alone. Ever. I usually bribe mine by taking him to dinner afterwards or bringing him home some froyo.
2. When searching for items on Craigslist, use synonyms, plurals, and misspellings to find what you need. It is ok to search for “medal shelves,” metal bookcases, metal bookcase, “steel shelfs,” and more. Be creative!
3. Do share that you are a teacher. I usually start with “Hi, I’m a teacher looking for shelves for my classroom library and saw your ad…” Sometimes you will get a discount.
NOTE: Please follow all Craigslist safety precautions and clean and inspect all furniture before adding it to your classroom.