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Honey Brook Elementary Center 1530 West Walnut Road Honey Brook, PA 19344

When the Budget Virus Hits Your Library Be Prepared In the article, Survival ER for School Libraries, the authors stress about being prepared. One way to prepare is to conduct in-service training for teachers and staff on how to use the library. Show your staff how to use the OPAC system; they can look for books and pull them off of the shelves. Reacquaint them with the databases used in the library. “The more they understand, the better the program will run” (Cox 6). Here is a list of 6 ways to maximize services in the library that will not cost the library a penny.

1. Get Help Enlist parents or retirees from a nearby retirement home to shelve and mend books. Make sure there are polies and a manual in place so volunteers know exactly what is expected of them (Cox 6). Recruit in the beginning of the year when the library has some downtime.

McClung suggests having a form at the circulation desk for students to record books they want in the library. She allows the student who requested the book to be the first one to check the book out (34). This list will be a starting point when researching new books for Collection Development.  Have students write reviews on books they have read (McClung 34).  Students can also stamp books that have been processed. Using a clipboard, McClung has students record the task and the amount of time it took to complete the task to share with administration. She also likes to give thank you tokens like free books or bookmarks to students who have helped. Allowing students to help in the library can help keep the library program student centered (McClung 35).

3. Let Go “Create two lists; one is what cannot be let go, and the second is what can be let go. For each item listed also include the potential impact to the school library program” (Edwards 56).

2. Student Workers Students can help in many ways.  Allow student to “adopt a shelf”. Students are assigned a section of the library to keep neat and organized. If the section is an easy section, like the fiction section, students could help shelve books in their section (Edwards 56).

Some library procedures do not have to be completed as often. Only run overdues once a quarter (Mcclung 34). Overdues can also be done on the fly. When checking out students, if the system shows some overdo items print the list out and hand it to the student.

Great Idea

4. Quick Displays

6. Stay Connected

Instead of shelving a pile of books, make a quick book display out of them. McClung suggests getting students involved in figuring out book displays with the books that are on the shelves. If there are a lot of animal books, make a quick display with a sign saying, “Read on the Wild Side”.

Stay connected, network with other librarians to share ideas about how to function on a small budget. Kristin Fontichiaro states in her article, Staffing Has Been Cut..Now What Do You Do?, other librarians “can share their expertise and their strategies for doing more with less” (30). Using Listservs is one way to stay connected. Here is a link to the Elementary Librarian where there is a list of school library Listserv,

5. Self-Checkout This is not for everyone. Teach the students how to check-out their own books. This way the librarian can open the library when there is a scheduled class and no paraprofessional. The key to make this a success in your library is to move the checkout station close to your class and turn up the volume on your checkout computer so you can hear the “dings”. I have tried this but my library is too rectangular and too long. Another librarian in my district has a more round library; self-check has worked for her. This is not for the faint of heart; books will walk out of the library. The only cost to the library is the lost books and if there is a charge to move the checkout station.

Works Cited Cox, Marge, Linda Mills, and Leslie Sutherlin. "Survival: ER For School Libraries." School Library Monthly 28.1 (2011): 5-7. Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2014. Edwards, Buffy1, "Can-Do." Knowledge Quest 40.3 (2012): 54-57. Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 22 Mar. 2014. Fontichiaro, Kristin. "Staffing Has Been Cut...Now What Do You Do?." School Library Monthly 24.8 (2008): 28-30. Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson).Web. 22 Mar. 2014. McClung, Paula1, "Budget Cuts: How To Deal With Less." School Library Monthly 28.5 (2012): 33-35. Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 20 Mar. 2014. Sams, Jocelyn. "School Library Listservs." Elementary Librarian. N.p., 2013. Web. 22 Mar. 2014. <>.

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