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Textbook Management

What is the reason for efficient textbook management for a K-12 school district? When it comes down to it, the end goal is student success. Remembering this goal is crucial to define the purpose of textbook management: To create an efficient process to get the right resources into the hands of students and teachers as quickly as possible.

For efficient textbook management, you need to have quick answers to a few simple questions – what do I own? Where is it? And can it be utilized?

Not knowing which instructional materials are owned by your district and where they’re located has far-reaching implications. Without centralized, real-time inventory control:

  • Students don’t receive their textbooks on the first day of school and parents are justifiably frustrated
  • Teachers alter their lesson plans
  • Assistant principals don’t know how many of their instructional resources are available, distributed, or lost
  • Principals are in the dark regarding the status of their orders to the district for additional materials
  • The district textbook coordinator isn’t aware of surplus inventory that could be transferred from school to school for quick request fulfillment
  • Administrators at all levels are constantly reaching to ever-changing enrollments rather than proactively preparing for them

Reaching The Goal

Providing the best possible instruction to students is every district’s primary goal. To accomplish this goal, you must increase the effectiveness of every educational dollar spent. Inefficient resource management directly impacts the district’s fiscal bottom line. You can ensure that all students receive the instructional materials they need, when they need them, while minimizing costs as well as the time and effort spent by staff by:

  • Providing schools with real-time, centralized access to material inventory management and reporting capabilities
  • Utilizing existing inventory already owned by the district to fulfill requests
  • Streamlining and automating campus requests and fulfillment operations
  • Implementing a barcode scanning process to track resource location at campuses
  • Managing automated campus audits for inventory accountability and accuracy
  • Clearly communicating instructional material options that are available to teachers




Believe it or not, textbooks are one of the most costly assets at your school. The following are key components of any instructional material management program.

Develop a Policies and Procedures Manual

Your district’s policies and procedures must be documented and communicated to all personnel. The development of an Instructional Materials Policies and Procedures Manual will lay out the responsibilities of each individual within your district pertaining to the management of materials and define critical guidelines and instructions such as the selection and procurement process, ordering criteria, distribution, accountability, and closing out the school year.

A District Level Textbook Coordinator

For districts with multiple campuses, someone at the district level needs to take ownership and oversight of the instructional material program. The District Textbook Coordinator will typically be the responsibility of a staff member in the Purchasing or Curriculum departments.

Campus Level Textbook Coordinator(s)

Each campus needs someone to take ownership of how materials are managed and the assignment of these responsibilities can fall to an Assistant Principal, clerk, or librarian. This person receives communication from the district office and coordinates tasks at their school like book assignments to students and teachers, inventory checks, and student obligation reporting.

A Centralized Tracking and Reporting System

To facilitate the proper management of all your instructional materials a centralized tracking system that meets the procedural needs of both the district and campus levels is necessary. A single, web-based system will let the district verify the receipt of inventory by schools and identify shortages/overages of each title located at every school in real-time; it offers an easy way to transfer books from campus to campus or back into the warehouse; and it serves as a central communication tool between the district and the schools for requesting and fulfilling additional inventory needs and conducting physical inventory audits.

Annual Textbook Activity Calendar


July Activity Calendar

August - September - October

Activity Calendar

November - December

Activity Calendar

January - February

Activity Calendar

March - April

Activity Calendar

May - June

Activity Calendar