Building a Library Collection on a Shoestring Budget
Have you ever wanted to build a library collection but felt you did not have enough money? Well here are a few suggestions to do so if you are on a budget.
It seems these days that many libraries are struggling where finances are concerned and especially the libraries in developing or under-developed countries. How can we as Information Providers serve our customers when for the most part we have little or no money to bargain with?
Here are a few things that has helped me over the years:
- Collaboration: No man is an island and no man stands alone. Work with Librarians and colleagues from other institutions or groups. No one library has all the resources so being active in Library Associations or groups is a great way to get to know what is available at other institutions. Please do not limit your association to just your local library group; join with others as well. There are some excellent groups on Facebook and those can be very helpful.
- Open Educational Resources (OERs): UNESCO defines OERs as “any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them.” For the Librarian who is struggling to balance the budget or who may not even have a budget OERs are a God sent. There are so many of these resources around that a library can provide reputable resources for patrons even with limited finances. For a listing of OERs please see Open Educational Resources
- Donations: Another life line of a library with a limited budget is donation. However, for this to be effective it has to be properly managed. There needs to be a donation policy and this should be clearly stated and publicized. Donations can come from many sources, they can come from current and former students, businesses, authors, large donor groups etc. There are some large organizations that are book donors who will supply the books but shipment has to be paid for by the library. It might be a good idea to join forces with other libraries and share the shipping cost since there are minimum shipment requirements.
- Grants: Seek out grants that assist libraries. If you are not familiar with grant writing then it is time to learn and that can be done by just doing a google search. Some places even offer free grant writing classes on-line so search for these and sign up. Again communicate with other Librarians to see what they are doing with regards to grant seeking.