I was really interested in how funding worked at my school – a non-profit international school with high fees.
My TL and I discussed how he approach to the issue depends on the operating procedure and preferences of the CFO and principal. In our case, where there is no need to ‘beg’ for funding or for the TL to prove the worth of the library, my TL just has to give the final number to the CFO: what is bought with that number is fully up to the TL.
My TL acknowledges that is not the case in many libraries and it is only because the library budget was and is consistently well run and managed that the faith in funding has been established.
Our school is comprised of 3 schools: elementary, middle and high and funds are allocated depending on student numbers. As the elementary is so much bigger than the other 2 schools, we get the bigger piece of the pie (50% compared to 20% and 30% of high and middle school respectively). The three TLs are then given their share of the funds and expected to spend where necessary. Each library is autonomous but are willing to collapse into leftover funds into the mutual pot if the need to buy resources that are used across the whole school. Our WS librarian has a PA who tracks all the spending and can give an up-to-date spreadsheet of purchases at a drop of a hat.
Our budget is worked out as follows: 200RMB per ‘book’, 2 ‘books’ per child = 400RMB ($58)
Roughly 300RMb extra is added per child for capital and AV expenditures so there is roughly 680RMB ($97) per child.
680 x number of students = total budget for the school division = pretty healthy bottom line 🙂
The biggest bone of contention for our school is the IT integration department – they have their own line of funding. Hmmm, are we a LMC or are we a library and a tech department with different goals and vision?