If your library is like mine, your list of expenses is growing while funding is either stagnant or trending down. That’s why we are enthusiastic about any sources of nontraditional revenue, no matter how modest.
Posts Tagged ‘library funding’
Finding funding to support the library is a constant challenge. A powerful, free, new tool from the Foundation Center can help your library connect with grants, partners, and potential funders. It’s a great place to start turning data into dollars for your next big idea.
With budget cuts plaguing my state, discussions have arisen over Interlibrary Loan, more specifically, the feasibility of delivering requested items from one location to another. The bottom line: This service is expensive. It is no surprise the discussion got heated and started to reflect the sometimes petty biases and politics of large groups. The conversation also reflects a fundamental divide that occurs across many competitive organizations: the divide between the haves and the have-nots.
Since 2010, spending cuts have drastically affected public libraries in the United Kingdom, particularly in England. A BBC investigation discovered a startling trend: In the past six years, almost eight thousand paid staff have lost their jobs, which amounts to 25 percent of the total working force. In that same time period, over 340 libraries have closed, with at least another hundred slotted to close in the next year. Additionally, over 170 libraries have been “transferred to community groups,” which means that they are solely run by volunteers. The use of volunteers is the only number that has increased (by fifteen thousand) since 2010. Is this trend signifying the end of UK public libraries?
The United States is far from the only country facing library closures and budget cuts. According to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy annual survey of libraries in Great Britain, there was a £50 million cut from library budgets across Britain in 2014–2015, and 106 libraries closed. In The Guardian’s “Student” section, Greta Bellamacina recently made a strong argument for the importance of public libraries, particularly as a vital resource for students.
A new evidence-based perspective on evaluating the advocacy efforts of public libraries is being developed. By drawing on research from other disciplines and the latest studies on libraries, a set of advocacy best practices is emerging. Findings show that building strong relationships with funding decision-makers and other related tactics of interpersonal influence could be important advocacy tools.
This past summer we were in the midst of the how-are-we-going-to-fund our library discussion. It’s an age-old library question: how do we maintain our services, or (dare I suggest) how can we increase our services with a flat or reduced budget? The fear was real: do we reduce services at (or close) a branch or do we make drastic cuts at the main location?
Generally speaking, this is the time of year when our elected officials in Washington turn their attention to the crafting of a new budget for the upcoming federal fiscal year. As is the practice, President Barack Obama and his administration have recently released a comprehensive budget proposal for FY 2015. As it turns out, the news for library supporters is good, but not great.