Making Friends

2166043959_dc2ec8e8a12In her blog post, “Being Human and Being Broke” the always wonderful Diane Chen discusses that ever-present problem of funding.  On the LM/NET recently there has been some debate about this.  Should a school librarian accept whatever is given to them and try to make the best use of it, or should s/he try to do some creative fundraising and find other ways to get book into hands?

Apparently the argument against creative fundraising is that if we start doing a good job of it then the powers that be will be even more apt to make us do more with less.  Those that float this argument may be right, but my follow-up question would have to be: when have we ever had the right amount of funding?  If we sit around waiting for “them” to suddenly “get it” and open up the checkbooks then we will be waiting an awful long time, my friends.

Ms. Chen goes on to describe the Friends of Libraries group and suggests this as an option because, as she says, “complacency is an evil when it comes to collection development.”

Apparently the AASL agrees because they also have a post promoting the Frinds of Libraries and mention using one of their fact sheets as a possible course of action.

It’s a great idea–delegate the fund raising and other aspects of library advocacy to interested members of the surrounding community, students, grandparents, parents, and other local residents.

Has anyone tried this in their own media center?  Do share some input!


Posted on April 12, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks Melissa, what a great bunch of ideas!

    • Melissa Johnston

      Anytime Jim! Diane’s blog is great – she is a excellent SLMS and always has many great ideas. If you are still in Mary Ann’s class tell her Hi for me! 🙂

  2. I agree! We have too much sitting around waiting and complacency in this profession. Look at the postings that went on GaMedia when GLMA asked people to write their legislator about HB 278. People actually commenting that maybe we shouldn’t say anything and just be happy we have a job. Thoughts like that are going to lead to you not having a job!

    As for the fundraising – yes you should be out doing what you can. I opened a new school year before last and found out that you really can’t have any sort of collection that first year without doing your own fundraising.

    I did several book donation fundraising programs throughout the year – buy a birthday book for the library instead of cupcakes, buy an inaugural year book for the library, love your library in Feb.

    Also approach local businesses and organizations. Several civic organizations are always looking for service projects – suggest your media center! I got the boy scouts to donate books as a service project, the local Democrats club also donated money as a service project, and the local Optimist club made a significant donation as well.

    Then check your local businesses for grants and awards. I also wrote up and was awarded two of these. Can you think of a better cause than buying books for children?

    As I plan to open a new school next year I again will be checking out every available option to find ways to build the collection.

    It is up to you -if you sit around and wait for someone else to help, yes you are going to be waiting a long time!

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