These are some things we might have discussed at in our conversation at the NC Reading conference in Raleigh, NC.
This is a video of my powerpoint so you can get the links if you wish.
I talked about services, like from the Junior Library Guild, which is awesome. You can select categories that are appropriate for your school (like fiction, non-fiction, grade level, science, social studies) and how many you want (which looks like it's dictated by your budget) and then every month, they'll send you a little (or big, depending on your budget) box of books that are new, well reviewed and beautifully bound. I got a trial subscription this year and got three books for three months. And they were lovely and some of them were even books I meant to read. It wasn't the right thing for me, but I could see where it would work well.
I also talked about book lists. Here are some of my favorites.
NPR Back seat book club
The National Book award
The New York Times Bestsellers (this one is a link to the middle grade fiction, but once you are one the NY Times page, look on the left hand navigation bar and there are links for pictures books and YA as well)
Indie Bound - this is a link the kids page and there are sections based on age, but there are also grown up books there as well.
Common Sense Media - this organization has a rating system for all kinds of media, including books.
ALA - the American Library Association also has an award and here is a link to the nominees.
Blogs are another great place to find out about books because there are people who read a lot more than I do. If you find some who have similar opinions to your own, you'll be willing to trust their opinions. Here are some of my favorites.
Jon Sciezka - Guys Read
James Patterson - Read Kiddo Read
Alyson Beecher - KidLit Frenzy
Louise Capizzo and Cathy Potter - the NonFiction Detectives
John Schumaker - Watch. Read. Connect.