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In today's tight times, budgeting is more important than ever.  While this might strike many as a problem, effectively managed, budgets do enforce planning, prioritizing and accountability.  The best I can do is face these challenges and improve access to library media and programming to the greatest degree possible with the resources available.  Getting the most out of what you have is a worthwhile outcome and budgeting is the critical component of success.

While some schools do not require that a budget be justified -- being able to do so will save many headaches if people start asking questions.  In Wisconsin, state support for budgets is provided through the Common School Fund. This money can be spent on (code numbers in parentheses):

bulletAudiovisual materials (431)
bulletLibrary books and professional materials for the LMC (432)
bulletNewspapers (433)
bulletPeriodicals (434)
bulletProgrammed instructional software and subscriptions to online database search services (435)
bulletMicrofilm (438)
bulletReference materials -- books, electronic reference tools, online reference subscriptions (439)

While this is a great start, library media programs also need support for areas not covered by the Common School fun, like:

bulletcomputer and a.v. equipment 
bulletcomputer supplies such as printer cartridges and blank disks
bulletA.V. supplies such as bulbs, transparencies, and markers
bulletother supplies such as paper, mending tape, plastic book jackets
bulletlicenses for software
bulletmaintenance agreements
bulletrental fees
bulletstaff development
bulletpersonnel costs
bulletphone charge

Because budgeting in schools is generally a "zero sum" game -- designing budget requests to support the library and school mission is important.  Getting interested teachers involved is the first step in identifying school needs and proposing solutions to address those needs.  

In my resource section, there is a page devoted to budget issue links

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