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Resource development

Maintaining and funding a successful library space and program







Volunteers have become essential in maintaining a library program, especially for a large student population. School librarians must maintain the library space while training teachers, updating social media, brainstorming library programs, planning events, and teaching classes. Volunteers can help with some of the more simple tasks, such as reshelving, circulation, creating displays, and reorganizing books, freeing up time for librarians to do the more complex work.

Why is it important?

School library budgets get smaller and smaller every year (this is currently happening to me!) School librarians must be proactive in applying for grants in order to have a future-ready library available for their students. The art of writing grants is an important skill to learn in order to best serve the school community. Many organizations and companies are willing to help out - we just have to reach out and make it happen!

Why does it matter?

With very little funding (and sometimes support), it is up to school librarians to get creative and think of innovative ways to keep the school library space engaging and current for all stakeholders. Being able to repurpose furniture, visualize rearrangements, and apply for grants are critical skills for a successful librarian.

Why does it matter?

Never settle! The library space should be ever-changing based on student needs as time progresses. Apply for grants, get creative, and keep on dreaming!

1. Less is more- Weed aggressively- Remove unnecessary furniture- Rely on the virtual catalog for reference2. Make space & rearrange- Invest in flexible furniture- Try different rearrangements- Search for old furniture to repurpose

On a Budget

Transforming Library Space

Rendina, D. (2015, October 27). How to transform your library space on a budget [blog post]. Knowledge Quest.

"Involving volunteers in the day-to-day functions of the library establishes an ongoing dialog between library and community" (Driggers and Dumas 2002, 168)

Students- Sense of belonging in the school library- Easily trained to complete simple tasks, such as reshelving, reorganizing, and checking out books- Students feel as if they impact the school communityParents- Can assist with book fairs and basic library tasks- Contribute to an area of the school for all students- Opportunity to learn about library managementTeachers & Staff- Creates library culture of a community space for the entire school- Opens doors for further collaboration- Staff becomes more familiar with library materials and what is offered



Bogel, G. (2013). The art of managing volunteers in the school library. School Library Monthly, 29(4), 26-28.

Practice makes perfect when it comes to grant writing! As long as a librarian maintains passion and a dream for the library, the money will eventually come.

1. Talk to administration first. There might be extra money lying around!2. Start small. Reach out to local businesses to build up your resume.3. Collaborate with public libraries and organizations4. Keep a kid-centered mindset5. Tie goals to learning6. Have a solid plan on how to use the money and implement the new program/materials7. Ensure goals are compatible with funder's goals

Obtaining Grants


Anderson, Cynthia. (2011). Free money! Knowledge Quest, 40(2), 10-13.