I am a child of the late 70’s and 80’s.’ When I was a kid, we believed that by the year 2000, we would be flying around with jet packs, and living on the moon.’ However, here we are in what is about to be 2010, and these things have yet to have happened.’ You may be wondering “Where is she going with this?”… Continue reading Dollars & Sense #31: Libraries Looking Toward the New Year
In February I wrote a YALSA blog post about how, during tough economic times, opportunities arise for trying out new ways of providing services to, and connecting with, teens. What if every library took to heart the idea that economic challenges are an opportunity to improve service and take chances? What if teen librarians started to say, “OK, lets start thinking completely differently – or at least a little bit differently – about what we do and how we do it? What if, as we struggle to make ends meet, we don’t just try to maintain but we try to rethink? What if, we don’t think small but actually think big?” It sounds risky, doesn’t it? But, maybe it’s the perfect time to be risky. Take a chance, walk with me on the edge for a few minutes: Continue reading Dollars & Sense #30: A Chance to Take Risks
Looking for a fresh approach to staff development? Suffolk Cooperative Library System tried an â€œunconferenceâ€ format and found that sometimes the best ideas are the least expensive. ‘ http://campya.pbworks.com/
The plans for this conference were an adaption of the June 2009 LibCampNYC sponsored by METRO and Brooklyn College Library. http://libcampnyc.pbworks.com/
â€œLibCampNYC was a participatory user-generated â€œunconferenceâ€ focusing on libraries and library technology; attendees were expected to share their work, skills, or knowledge as active participants. Participants determined the day’s offerings in the opening session, and all sessions were summarized in the closing session. This collaborative environment presented unique opportunities for learning, sharing, and relationship-building that can be elusive at more formal conference.â€ Continue reading Dollars & Sense #28: The Unconference
The other day The New York Times published an article on teens and the recession. The article focused on teen spending practices as a result of the downturn in the economy, how home finances are having an impact on teen spending, and how typical teen oriented stores are faring during the recession.
The article was an interesting look at teens and their spending practices, but it also got me thinking about how teens earn the money that they spend. That thinking led me to another New York Times article. This one is on teen entrepreneurs, those teens that decide the traditional teen employment – jobs at fast food restaurants, as camp counselors, and so on – isn’t for them. Continue reading Dollars & Sense #27: Teen Entrepreneurs
Once you’ve identified the areas of need for your community/school teens, it is time to put the parts together for the grant. There are usually parts of a grant that work together as a whole, but these parts explain to the grant committee how the grant will work: the narrative and the budget. The narrative is the overview and will describe the â€œbig pictureâ€ in a way that explains the grant goals, objectives, and how the grant will benefit your target group, teens. It will have sections that you will need to address such as describing how the grant will be implemented, who is willing to donate time and funds for â€œcost sharing,â€ and how the success of the grant will be evaluated and the results disseminated. The budget is a tricky piece that is a detailed accounting of how all monies will be spent, and if this is a federal grant, there will be rules that have to be strictly followed.
For successful writing, remember that your â€œdata,â€ how it will be collected, analyzed, and evaluated, will be critical because data is the only thing that will show if the grant has been successful, and the grant committee members will be closely examining how you will show that their investment will be used to benefit the greatest number of teens in the most efficient way. The narrative will be more credible when you use the data from your needs assessment to justify the need for the program you and the grant committee/network envision for the community/school. Continue reading Dollars and Sense #26: Grants 2, Putting it Together
Yesterday Beth Gallaway wrote about Return on Investment (ROI) and how to make sure to get a good bang for your buck. Beth’s specific focus was on how gaming provides great opportunities to demonstrate ROI.
Continuing on the theme of ROI, how do you:
- Make sure that administrators, community members, foundations, grant makers, etc. understand the value of all aspects of the job that you do?
- Demonstrate that the full scope of services for teens is an invaluable part of what the library offers?
- Guarantee that those who have the bucks will make sure that you have dollars that you need when you need them?
In order to prove that the money spent in teen services is a good investment, it’s important to have data and stories that you can present to others. How do you do that? Focus groups, circulation statistics, door counts, and surveys are traditional methods libraries use. But, in the web 2.0/social networking world, there are several other techniques to employ in order to find out what other’s have to say about your services and their value: Continue reading Dollars & Sense #25: Teen Services = Good Investment
What’s ROI? Return on Investment, or, spending a little, and getting a lot back. ROI = bang for your buck!
In tough budget times, libraries look for ways to stretch their dollars, and strive to maintain the level of services patrons expect. Board, card and/or video gaming is an excellent low budget investment, because hardware, software and equipment can be utilized for multiple age groups and styles of play. Continue reading Dollars & Sense #24: Gaming as ROI
Some of your best program leaders may already be attending your programs. They’re sitting there, watching you struggle to cut the snow flake from the recycled printer paper, thinking the whole time about the really awesome program they want to run. Yes, one way to enhance your programming during lean times is to involve your teens as workshops leaders.
Grant â€œwritingâ€ does not begin with writing; it begins with gathering people and information. Successful grants are not created and implemented in a vacuum. Grants are a collaborative process and include those who are willing to assume one or more roles:
â€¢ Visionary[ies]: those who can take information (data) and identify trends and needs
â€¢ Communication expert[s]: those who can successfully communicate needs, form partnerships, communicate data results, and draw conclusions
â€¢ Data trackers: those who can design methods of collecting data and track the data to show whether the needs are being met
â€¢ Community liaisons: those people who â€œknow peopleâ€
â€¢ Stakeholders: those who will peripherally benefit from grant sponsored programs
â€¢ Target population: those who will receive direct benefits from grant monies Continue reading Dollars and Sense #22: Grant Writing, the “Beginning”
Some days are harder than others.’ Everywhere we look, we see rapid change taking place.’ Budget cuts are reducing staff and affecting families across the United States.’ One has to ask: How do we keep morale up in the workplace when all of this is going on? Continue reading Dollars & Sense #20: Keeping up the Morale in the Workplace