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?
I think the responsibility of library budget proposals should be a combined effort between TL, library staff and a library committee. The more people who are involved can provide different perspectives and creativity into how the budget could be used to support teaching and learning. It is important that teaching and learning requirements are met and that collection maintenance can be pursued. Ultimately the budget proposal will fall to the TL, but the support given in formulating it can support the presentation to administration and show that the proposal takes into account school goals and the needs of users. Larger project proposals could be identified and developed by the library committee for inclusion into budgeting. Perhaps it lies with the TL to identify which aspects of the project are achievable for the given year, around other smaller projects they have identified.
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?
I think it is important for faculties to have input into resources within the library collection. I also think ordering should be the sole responsibility of library staff. If teaching staff identify a resource they think would be useful, they need to share that with the library. Library staff are then able to check the collection (in case it is already there), and explore the resource to meet selection criteria and usability. Once approved the item can be ordered. There is option here for different payment methods – the item could be solely purchased by the faculty or the library, or the cost split 50/50. Whichever payment method is used, the item is still catalogued and processed by the library. This ensures all resources within the school are in the library system, and borrowed out to ensure accountability. In a previous site I have had faculty leaders borrow out a wide range of teacher resource books to house in the faculty office, allowing teachers to access resources without coming to the library. This means ease of access for staff. But items are only borrowed under the leader’s name – not individual teachers, and staff are not exposed to the entirety to the faculty collection in teacher resources – leading to potential lost and unused items.