#24 Budgets



Budgets are usually a thorny issue for school librarians. The level of provision usually relates directly to local authority policy, whole school budget and the whims of the headmaster. This leads to a wide range of budget levels from generous to nil.

It is essential that librarians do all that they can to maximise budget provision, and the measures below are a bare minimum:

  • Bid heavily, for more than you think you will get.
  • Itemise expenditure as much as is practical, give examples of prices.
  • Refer to the previous budget and any shortfalls.
  • Use comments from pupils and staff regarding resource needs.
  • Obtain and use positive feedback about previous expenditure.
  • Use CILIP guidelines to show where your school SHOULD be.
  • Show attractive evidence of how the money is used: photos, pupils’ comments, videos, web and intranet pages, teachers’ comments.
  • Show evidence of how the library provides added value.
  • Be specific about outcomes for the money that you are bidding for; what will it do, how will it improve the pupils’ learning experience?

It is also useful to remember that there is always money to be found outwith the ‘normal’ budget areas, and the library can quite legitimately bid in to areas such as curricular support, study support, clubs and societies, community events and so on.

It is useful to keep your own ‘version’ of the budget on a spreadsheet; it helps settle financial disputes. It is also useful to share this information with the member of school administration staff who deals with the library budget. Sharing of information is usually appreciated amongst support staff.

Library Budget Spreadsheet (Screendump only, can’t upload Excel spreadsheet at present)

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