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Money talks, so let’s talk money: Competing for fiscal resources

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Evidence and the Funding Authority.
  3. Openness with Staff.
  4. Motivating the Clientele.
  5. Conclusion.

The academic landscape has changed in recent years. In the modern academic environment, competition between departments and programs for scarce dollars is the order of the day. Despite the fact that the library is traditionally ?the single largest budget center in any academic organization? (Schrift, 1993, p. 29), it is not exempt from this competitive atmosphere (Rubin, 2002). If anything, the library often runs the risk of being overlooked by the academic funding authority if steps are not taken to increase its visibility and vocalize its needs.

While this is certainly a challenge, it is by no means an insurmountable one. However, libraries need to take certain specific steps in order to overcome this challenge.

[...] If the library simply shows up once a year begging for money to be thrown into its ?black its requests are not very likely to be approved. Openness with Staff Any organization is only as good as the people in it, and a library is certainly no exception to this rule. Because this is true, libraries, like any other organization, must clearly communicate their expectations, visions, and goals to the staff members (Toogood, 2005). According to Gordon (2005), a library that does not do this is a library that will not succeed, regardless of any other factors. [...]

[...] This is why it is critical for budget proposals to include an action plan relating money to services. Librarians spend a lot of time making postulations about the future of the library, as well they should; however, it is not enough to simply predict the future?one must describe how one plans to meet it, and why (Weingand, 1998). Presenting an action plan oriented toward academic benefits is likely to help the library achieve its budgetary objectives. Martin (1997) reports that, while institutions of higher learning are facing many general budgetary difficulties, they are willing to pay for services that clearly benefit students. [...]

[...] Foundations of Library and Information Science. 2nd ed. Neal-Schuman, New York. Schrift, L. (1993). Is it possible to develop libraries without resources? (pp. 19-32). In Declining Acquisitions Budgets: Allocation, Collection Development and Impact Communication, S. H. Lee, ed. Haworth: New York. Stueart, R. D. & Moran, B. B. (2002). Library and Information Center Management. 6th ed. Libraries Unlimited: Greenwood Village, CO. Swan, J. (2002). Fundraising for Libraries: 25 [...]

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