Relief is coming soon. Are you ready to advocate for your library funding?
When it comes to getting more funds for your library, you might sometimes feel stuck. Stuck in the same old cycle of putting together budget plans and imploring your admins to help you make those plans a reality, only to be told to try again next year. Add to that the stresses of the past year, and it can feel like you’re left without a budget plan, and without the help you need to ensure new books are available to your returning students.
Good news: This year will be different.
Federal relief funding is soon coming to schools across the nation, giving you the opportunity to champion for more budget this year and help get your collection back on track with new release titles your readers will enjoy.
With this funding waiting in the wings, the most important thing for you to do is be prepared: know what your library needs most, how much it will cost to acquire those resources, and how these investments will benefit your school and your readers.
Tips from the top
Advocating for your library’s funding can be tricky. That’s why we asked some district librarians for advice on their best strategies and tested approaches for seeking and securing funds from administrators. Let’s break down some of their advice and how JLG can help you easily implement it to quickly advocate for more funds this year!
“Provide circulation data to show why new books are needed and where weak areas are in your collection.” — District Librarian, New Mexico
Providing circulation data is easy to pull – you can get that information direct from your library collection management software. However, did you know that JLG offers all members access to a free collection analysis and budget maximizer tool that will run additional analyses on your collection to help you build the best, data-driven report on your collection needs? With more than 20 individualized reports, you’ll be able to get the right data in a timely manner to present to your admins.
“Provide a list of books that need to be replaced because they were checked out during Covid closures and never returned.” — District Librarian, Oregon
When you gather a list of books that went missing last year, make sure to include their retail prices as well. Search for these titles in the member-discounted JLG backlist to see if you can get them for less than retail costs to show your admins that you’re saving every penny possible while restocking your shelves with the popular books your readers obviously crave (otherwise, they would have never taken them in the first place, right!?).
“Use documentation from expenses and orders (including per-book pricing) in past years to show why the same amount – if not more – should be approved. Also, share how with a single subscription purchase from JLG you will receive new books every month.” — District Librarian, Texas
Get with your JLG rep to ask for past and upcoming subscription quotes. Ask them to add a per-book cost breakdown to your quote to help your admins digest and see the deal you’re getting on each book. Plus, you can pull quotes for individual titles straight from your JLG shopping cart or the JLG Collection Advisor tool! Reinforce the value of receiving new books every month with your JLG subscription, ensuring that your readers have a reason to return to the library for fresh selections.
“Outline how the relief funding available to your school can be used in the library to help learning acceleration.” — District Librarian, Pennsylvania
Talk to your admins about the upcoming federal relief funding your school might receive specifically given to help learning acceleration, something quality new-release books can do. Don’t be afraid to tell your admins all about why being a JLG member school will help your students increase their reading comprehension and scores. In fact, it might help move the needle if you mention the other perks of being a JLG member and how those benefit your students: access to our discounted backlist and virtual sales so you can bring in quality books at low prices, discounts on library resources like SLJ, LJ, and The Horn Book to ensure you're in-the-know about best practices in school libraries, free live and on-demand webcasts with popular authors that will reinforce a love of reading in your students, and more!
For more tips and resources, check out our blog coverage of ALA's recent American Rescue Plan Act guidance. But, no matter what your funding situation is like this year, we want to help make sure your young readers get access to new release books to accelerate their learning and rekindle their passion for adventures.
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