Funding and Budget Proposals
Should teacher librarians have the responsibility of submitting a budget proposal to fund the library collection to the school’s senior management and/or the school community? Or should such proposals come from a wider group such as a school library committee?
O’Connell (2017, p. 383) states that “It is the responsibility of the teacher librarian or resource teacher in collaboration with teachers and other professional staff to resource the curriculum.” The keyword in this case is collaboration. With more people involved in the decision-making process, there is a greater chance that the budget proposal, and resulting library collection, will be more attuned to the learning community’s needs. The teacher librarian should oversee the process and have the final say, but it is a good idea to seek information about where the collection might be lacking from a range of stakeholders.
So, budget proposals should come from a school library committee or similar group, although, since they have the final say, the teacher librarian may actually hand in the proposal to the relevant authority.
Is it preferable that the funding for the school library collection be distributed to teachers and departments so they have the power to determine what will be added to the library collection?
Again, collaboration is critical when developing the library collection. However, based on experiences as a classroom teacher, finding the time to search for, analyse and justify new resources for the library collection will be challenging. Sure, teachers and departments should be able to make requests for certain resources, or types of resources, but distributing the financial figures and giving teachers the power to choose what goes into the library might not work. What if, the following year, the teacher moves on to another school, and they were the only stakeholder to lobby for a particular resource?
O’Connell, J. (2017). School libraries. In Abdullahi, I. (Ed.), Global library and information science: A textbook for students and educators. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter Saur