It’s week 3 of my EDU306 Library Programs & Services class, and many of you have been following since the beginning, and I thank you; for those of you just tuning in thank you as well. As I stated a couple of of-of of-of of-of posts back there are only two of us in this course, so I wanted to share the prompts and my part of the discussion as a blog post with you all to get more feedback and knowledge from those of you that have more experience than I. This week we’re looking at how our libraries, in my case bookstore/library, can find potential funding. As some of you know my dream goal is to open a children’s bookstore/library that predominantly serves underprivileged and potentially abused youth, because of this I know that I’m going to need all that help I can get with funding so… SHOW ME THE MONEY!
• Describe how easy or difficult was it to locate three possible library grants.
• Explain the three you selected and why.
• Describe who is the funding source for each grant you selected (government, private, corporation, etc.). Did the source of the funding influence your decision to choose it?
• Discuss the essential components of an effective grant proposal.
• Explain how comfortable you are with the level of writing that is necessary for a successful grant proposal. What are your thoughts on using this funding source as a means to finance your library programs?
Because I am most likely going to need to get funding for my bookstore/library I took my time researching for this assignment. I went through every required and suggested resource given by my professor, Dr. Cowan, as well as did some research of my own. I found it pretty easy to find resources for how I would potentially fund my bookstore/library. I thought it very interesting to learn from our textbook that several donors will donate money for specific collections like just for children’s literature or for particular groups. The first funding source that I wanted to look at more in depth was, of course, Barnes & Noble.
Now that I have been made the Children’s Lead at the store book fairs are going to play a significant role in my life and can help me fund my store in the future. A Barnes & Noble Book fair is a corporation funded source isn’t like your average book fair where a company comes to the school and sets up the book for the kids to buy. Our book fairs are run at our store in partnership with the schools to help the school raise money. With whoever is running the school’s book fair with Barnes & Noble a book list will be set up. That book list can be books that are required reading all the way down the kids choice. The school will set up a date and time that the kids will come to the store to buy their books. It is up to the cool to promote and get their students to attend the book fair at the store. At the end of the allotted time, a portion of the money that has been made from the sale of books to their students will be given to the school. I think this is a great way to raise funds for the school and promote literacy within their schools.
Because I plan on working with low-income students, I looked at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This foundation gives people looking for grants a way to search for gifts that are based on their programs area of need. I liked the idea of applying for grants with this organization because since I don’t know exactly what area of need my library will be in or where my library will be. It is nice to know that there are organizations that have such open eligibility. Through this foundation, there are thousands of options for libraries to apply for their programs.
Another grant I found interesting was Inspire Special Event Grant from the American Association of School Libraries. Although I would probably not use this grant for my program, I liked the idea of there being grants to fund event in middle and high schools. In my experience programs for older kids have been getting left behind which doesn’t allow those children to maintain a healthy literacy. I love that this grant is also for publicly funded school which often fall behind in the education systems across America.
From what I learned in the textbook (which was a lot) some specifics are most important in applying for a grant. The first thing was to do your research before applying for the grant. Doing your research can can be include web searching, writing inquiry letters and making phone calls to get all the information you might need. Another good tip to use before applying for a grant is attending workshops on how to do them. I think for me this would probably be the best step in order to make sure I can do things the right way. Another thing I think was a good tip was to be prepared to fail. Applying for grants is a lot of work and people from all over apply for them and may need the funding more.
As far as my writing I feel that I write pretty well however when it comes to grant writing I am not sure. I have never written a grant or had to write anything for funding a program so I would need help in that area. I think in order to feel comfortable with writing for a grant I would need to go to a workshop and get help. I wouldn’t start trying to apply for a grant until I felt comfortable with at least the basics of the writing.
I am looking forward to continuing to learn more about funding my library, and I hope I can get what I need for my bookstore/library through out the time.