Manage New Releases & the Hold List

Keeping up with new release books can be a challenge. Here are three strategies I use to manage new release books from the time I know the release date until the book has been circulated by most of my students who wish to read it.

Keep Track of Release Dates

Use an app or an old fashioned calendar to keep track of the release dates for books you want to read or ones sure to be popular with your students. My favorite tools are both electronic.

The first is the Days Until app from the Apple store. I like this app because it is simple, you can add a picture, and the event remains on your calendar even if the date is past (until you delete it). There are several Android apps available as well, but I do not have personal experience with any.

If you keep a paper calendar you can jot the title of the new release down on the correct date. In Google’s calendar online you can add a release date as a Task so that it shows on your calendar with the correct date.

Keeping track of release dates allows me to plan my purchasing and any special release-day events in advance.

Student Contests

Before the book arrives at your library, hype its arrival with a special display, contest, or something as simple as a raffle jar.

Before The Third Wheel release I placed hold slips next to a fish bowl and invited students to sign up to read the book. When the book arrived I selected a few names to read the book first and then used the slips to add all of the other students to the waiting list. It was a simple effort but had the same result as something more time consuming. If you have time to set up a special display or plan events-go for it!

 Managing a Hold List

Use your regular library hold slips and add the title of the new release book before making copies. I’ve found that it’s worth it to get all of the requests up front and then key them into the system all at once. Because I know how many students want to read the list and how long it is taking, I know how many copies of the book I need. If I need to pick an extra copy up from Costco or Sam’s then I do that to be sure all of the students on the hold list get a chance to read the book during the year.

I have a Hold List set available for free download from TeachersPayTeachers. All of the forms you need are included.  When the books come in, tuck in a bookmark with the student’s name. Use a notification slip to place in the homeroom teacher’s mailbox notifying the student the book is ready to be checked out.

My last strategy for encouraging students to use the hold list is to post signs at your popular shelves. Do you get tired of hearing “are there any…..?” from students who are tired of checking an empty shelf for a book? I ask those students to fill out a hold list. A sign posted on the shelves of Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, Elephant & Piggie let students know they are looking in the right place and reminds them to put the book they want on hold.

January 4, 2013
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  • Reply Heather Marshall

    Great idea!!! I have sooo much trouble keeping up with the new releases … what are you finding is the simplest way to do that???

    March 10, 2015 at 9:39 am
    • Reply Carolyn


      I have several new tools that I use for keeping up with new titles. The first is Mr. Schu’s marvelous Book Release Calendar. If you use Google Calendars, you should import this one! I also am a member at NetGalley. I have favorited children’s publishers and often get to read advanced copies of books on my e-reader. I love it! I often go to amazon and sort books by publication date. You can often see books that are in the system months before they are released.


      May 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

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