Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bright, shiny, new fiscal year

This morning I began working my way through a two inch pile of book review resources, I had already processed online selections from Choice, to celebrate the new academic fiscal year. As noted here before, my purchasing responsibilities are two fold, resource center and education/academic. The college of education liaison, I am responsible for purchasing education titles and processing requests/recommendations from the department. I also have funds that allow me to buy books outside of my liaison responsibilities for the overall good of the library. However, the best part of the new fiscal year and its supporting budget is purchasing for the juvenile collection.

My budget is now neatly organized in Excel and brand new folders are prepared in the filing cabinet (a sickness for sure, but it has to be). It’s time to spend money on books! Therein lays one quandary accompanying book selection. At the end of each budget year there are always more book choices than money and I begin keeping a list; the pile of journals can become overwhelming and a folder of selections takes significantly less desk space. But as I cheerfully grabbed my selections there was a fleeting moment of angst, use the old list or begin again? After all, I have had recent meetings with literature instructors regarding purchases, attended children’s literature sessions at ALA, and maybe, just maybe, I know more now than I did two months ago and - then I had a virtual V-8 moment (no, I didn’t hurt myself).

Not to make light of an important topic, a good purchase two months ago is a good purchase today and quite frankly there is not time to ponder the obvious. I have three Booklists, two Book Links, two School Library Journals, a dated Library Journal, and a plethora of PW children’s book review e- newsletters, not to mention several Horn Book Magazine recommendations, beside my desk awaiting use. It is time to, metaphorically speaking, put up or shut up. Read the journals, make selections based on collection development policy and curriculum need, and spend the money wisely; because as much as I hate to admit it, there are other equally important purchases to be made beyond the juvenile collection.

Little things like textbooks, activity books, kits, software, reference titles and …

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