Accounting doesn’t tend to fill me with excitement, however, when viewed through a paradigm of collaboration , stewardship, and thinking, then it all starts to become an environment of possibilities.
The lack of funding within the public school sector is of no surprise to anyone that works within the sector, so the importance of prioritising funds is essential if we are to provide the service for students and staff. It is also clear that this planning requires evaluation and connection to school goals, significantly, this presents an opportunity to collaborate and advocate for the library environment. A Library budget becomes a proactive document rather than a reactive one, if it is as Doug Johnson states, ‘a written, goal oriented specific proposed budget,’ that articulates the vision of the library. Additionally, proposals for library expenditure should be ‘supported by research and sound reasoning,’ (MMM).
The development or inclusion of an advisory group or committee further ensures that the library has a team working for the befit of the students and staff in the ways that the Library can be most effective. This is where the librarian becomes the steward, the professional with the most knowledge and understanding of the needs of the learners that the library services that consults with and seeks input from a variety of shareholders. It is essential that the librarian report to the wider school community about the intentions and success of library programs creating a sense of belonging and ownership within the learning community.
Finally it is in the role of thinker that the librarian is able to assess and evaluate the needs of the library so that they can make appropriate decisions based upon most affordable and relevant resources. The documents titled Budgeting for Mean, Lean times provide a model for thinking about budgeting even during the times of abundance, can’t imagine that ever happening though.
Lamb, A. & Johnson, H.L. (2012). Program administration: Budget management. The School Library Media Specialist. Retrieved from http://eduscapes.com/sms/administration/budget.html.
Plemmons, A. (2010). Student Voice, Student Choice: Students as part of the budgeting process. The Georgia Library Media Association. Retrieved from https://glma.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/student-voice-student-choice-students-as-part-of-the-budgeting-process/