Friday, December 4, 2015

What to Do When the Budget Has Been Crushed

I intentionally chose the cartoon at the left because sometime in the future, I am afraid that  "free" libraries might be a thing of the past. Budget and job cuts are happening all over the country, and teacher-librarians have had to come up with ways to buy books for their collections.

Are you in that majority?

This school year I was not given any money for my budget. I have needed to pull out all the tricks in my magic bag, and although I have not been able to adequately stack the shelves, I've done about as good as one can do considering the circumstances. If you find yourself in this spot in the future, here are some of the things I have done to generate ca$h:

1, Keep a small school store stocked with book covers,(jumbo Book Sox, the original one) pens, pencils (students are always unprepared..) erasers, notebooks and ear buds. Can you guess which item we sell the most of? It's the ear buds. Price markup is the key, folks. Purchase from clearance sales, discount warehouses etc.

2. The raffle sale. See if you can get a local business to donate an item, or take the price of the item out of the raffle sales. With the second choice you won't make as much, but you'll still make something. If you attend a book fair, you might have gotten the author to autograph your copy, The autograph will make your book raffle more appealing.

3, Charge students 10 cents per sheet for printing from the computer. Believe me, this money adds up.

4. Charge students for copying in color or black and white. Many companies like Apple are giving away free all-in-one printer/scanners with the purchase of  a computer. See if a colleague will donate it so that it will cost you nothing. (Old printer/scanners as donations can work as well. You will have to pay for the ink if your technology department or supervisor does not have the funds for it.)

Hope this takes the sting out of the "zero dollar game."  If you have any suggestions to share, please add to the comments. I still haven't found a high school library with no budget other than us.

UPDATED POST: Do Your Students Know How to Evaluate a Website?

Most students are really not sure how to tell if a website is trustworthy. In fact, when I teach classes on research, several students mention at the beginning of the lesson that all they need is Google to do their paper. By the end of the lesson they have retracted that statement. How savvy are YOUR students? Here are 16 resources on website evaluation:

Checklist for Evaluating Web Resources

Credible Sources Count- view a 10-minute tutorial about how to find sites you can trust. EXCELLENT!

Critical Evaluation of Information- Kathy Schrock's guide by grade level; covers elementary through secondary 

EasyBib Research- students can enter a topic to search and EasyBib tells them if the site is credible or not. (NOTE: Not all sites have been rated)

Evaluating Internet-Based Information- from Media Smarts

Finding Reliable Information Online- slide presentation from middle school teacher Sean Hinger

The Five Ws of Website Evaluation- from Kathy Schrock

Museum of Hoaxes- bogus web sites from A to Z

University of Berkeley Library- an excellent tutorial on finding information on the Internet

Using Critical Thinking to Find Trustworthy Websites- video from Common Sense Media

Website Evaluation- I have put together three important links for your students


If You Dislike Lorem Ipsum, Fillerati is For You

If you are either creating a template or working on a document and need text to fill in so you can see the big picture, Fillerati is for you! I personally am not a fan of Lorem Ipsum and have been using Fillerati because it uses English text from seven famous authors' books. (Teacher-librarians and media specialists take note.) The diagrams below give you an idea how this text filler works.

The drop-down menu offers seven famous authors and their books.

Choose paragraph, header, list or text for your sample.
Slide to the right to increase the number of words.


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