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When I started as library director in the tiny town of Meservey, I never thought we would be able to pull off large-scale programs like libraries in big cities did. Those types of programs aren’t in our budget, and it’s hard enough getting good attendance at our smaller events. The payoff, I figured, probably wouldn’t be worth all of the money and time spent.
I am thrilled to admit that I was wrong, and that tiny libraries like mine can, in fact, have big events that are just as successful as a library 10 times their size.
In our tiny library, we are forced to think hard about every financial decision we make. Can we afford to book that pricey performer for our summer reading program? Should we be subscribing to magazines if only a couple of people are reading them? Do we need to have snacks at every event? Every dollar counts, and we must stretch that dollar as far as we possibly can, particularly when it comes to programming.
How do you identify funding sources for your library? What are your biggest obstacles?
A group of ALA Emerging Leaders wants to know. Working with the ALA Public Programs Office, they are developing an online resource compiling strategies and sources that libraries can use to locate funding opportunities.
Throughout our nation's history, libraries have served as truly democratic institutions, striving to make themselves accessible and inclusive for all. ALA's Public Programs Office is fortunate to support libraries with grant opportunities, free resources and support as they ensure access to information and lifelong learning for all.