Children's Literature (all forms)

Book Bundles – A Fun Way to Boost Circulation

Want to raise your circulation? Get to know your collection even better?  Find out what’s especially popular with your patrons?  Encourage patrons to explore new sections and titles?  Help harried patrons find great book?  Excite preschoolers to discover their newest favorites?

Yes!  To all!!

Sound impossible?  It is easy with Book Bundles!

The idea started a few years ago when a patron–new to town–asked where we kept our Book Bundles.  “Huh?” was our first response, but like the good librarians we are, we quickly realized this was something we needed.

Now, we proudly display our Book Bundles: three books on a theme, designed to be checked out together.  Each book Bundle contains a variety of picture books, nonfiction, poetry and early reader titles.  We create book bundles for just about anything.

Popular Serious Helpful Fun Quirky
Pirates Peace Eat Your Veggies What Pet? Green Stuff
Bedtime Manners Mama Says… Spooky Books Knock, Knock
Princesses New Baby I Feel Girls Rock Dirt
Vroom! Love You No! Boys Rock Totally Bored

Book bundles give librarians a chance to share books they love and get even better at answering the eternal question, “Where are books about (insert random topic here).”

Book bundles are an easy way for grownups to find just the right titles for the children in their lives, and encourage them to check out more than one book about their favorite topics or try something completely new.

Book bundles are a great deal for everyone!


Our guest blogger today is Marra Honeywell. Marra is the Assistant Manager of the Children’s Services department at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can email Marra at

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


  1. Caroline

    I saw a teen version of this in VOYA a couple of years ago. Tried it and it completely flopped. In fact, the circulation stats for each title were lower than when I unbundled them and let them circulate individually. It might work better with picture books that adults check out. I’ll have to try it to know!

    1. Marra

      Do give it another go! After the success of our picture book bundles, we did try chapter book bundles. They were a giant flop 🙂

  2. Jess Blasko

    Love this idea so much! Do you have issues with people going through the bundles and taking only what they want rather than the whole bundle? And how do you handle it when a patron who is searching for a book, but you realize it’s in one of the bundles? What feedback have you gotten from parents and/or kids about the book bundles? Thanks for posting!

    1. Marra

      As far as I’m concerned, patrons can pick and choose what they want from the Book Bundles. They’re easy to refill with other titles, and more than anything, I want patrons to find books they love (not books I think they’ll love).

      The same goes for a patron looking for a certain title that is bundled up. It gives the librarian a chance to say, “Oh I know you were looking for “Fancy Nancy.” We have that book in one of our book bundles with some other great books about girls. Maybe, you’d love some of these, too!” It’s really just another way to market our collection.

      Feedback has been awesome. We regularly hear “Thank you!” and I’ve overheard children excitedly say to their parents “What are the book bundles today?”

  3. Jennifer

    Our director saw this idea at a library up in northern Wisconsin – we do 5 books per bundle and I have cute little themed labels I made to go with each (We Bark for Books, Mooooore Books, Staff picks, etc.). I also keep track of the books, so I don’t use the same ones too often.

  4. ZW

    Hi: Great idea. We plan to use it to circulate our picture books a little more. Question: where did you get the GREAT label. I’ve searched around in word for possible clip art but not finding anything that looks as good as yours!

    I’m assuming it’s a template and you just fill in the theme?

    thank you!

  5. Sarah S.

    Just so you know, a few of us at the Free Library of Philadelphia have taken this idea and ran! Personally, I love the book bundles, and I’ve had kids, parents, and teachers all get really excited to check them out! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Marianne McCord

    HI, thanks for the great information. We are preparing book bundles and your information was very helpful. I especially like your bundle topic ideas. One question, do you keep a master book title list for each bundle?



    1. Marra Honeywell

      Some staff might find it useful to have a list of “perfect’ titles to generate a bundle from. For me, I take a great deal of pleasure in finding perfect titles in the stacks, and have gotten fairly quick at compiling them. Staff new to this process might benefit from a list.

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