Times are tough, academic librarian. For the past 30 years, libraries have been receiving a steadily shrinking slice of university funds. You’re in the difficult position where you still need to provide resources for an awesome student body and campus community—but with about 50 percent of the funds your colleagues had in 1984.
Here at Mango, we know that the decision to invest in our product isn’t always easy. We recognize that the most recent statistics show that you and your contemporaries spend a total of just about $2.8 billion on information resources, and $1.4 billion of that is on electronic serial subscriptions. But we dig your commitment to fostering learning of all kinds, and we want to make it easier for you to fund your Mango subscription.
Today, we’re highlighting Rich Gause, the government information librarian at the University of Central Florida (UCF), and the work he did to successfully request a Technology Fee grant from the state of Florida for Mango Languages. Here are some of the things he did to make his proposal a success.
Focus on the numbers.
When he requested funding for Mango, Rich made sure he was open and honest about the numbers. He wrote about how he managed to work with Mango on an annual, one-time purchase fee and highlighted the savings the library would receive. He also broke down the cost of Mango to a per-student level, showing that at its highest, it was only $2.31.
By breaking down the numbers, Rich showed that Mango made financial sense for his organization and wouldn’t pose an undue burden on the granter. He also proved himself a keen negotiator who was willing to work hard to get what he wanted—showing the grant committee that he had done his homework and was passionate about Mango.
Prove the value.
Rich focused parts of his grant proposal specifically on how Mango aligned with elements of the UCF curriculum. He proved that the lessons in the Mango database specifically aligned with what was being taught in the modern languages, international affairs and global strategies departments of the university.
But he also went above and beyond by including examples of how students outside of those key areas could—and would!—use Mango. Rich compellingly argued that students in the college of education and business program would have great need for Mango. He even specifically highlighted Mango’s Medical Spanish lessons as a particular benefit for students in the colleges of nursing and medicine. These specific examples of the value of Mango to different areas of the campus community helped Rich prove the scope of Mango’s value to the campus and the library.
Bring in outside support.
When libraries work with professors and staff, it’s like when the deathly hallows come together in Harry Potter: something invincible is created. Now, we’re not saying that teaming up with others will allow you to defeat Voldemort, but it may help you get a grant for Mango.
In his proposal, Rich noted that he had at least three instructors from different departments who all wrote letters of support outlining the benefits of Mango to their classes. He also noted the library’s commitment to train faculty on how to use Mango and how to publicize it in classrooms. Not only does this kind of extra help create a stronger sense of urgency for the product, it also proves your commitment to investing in the most useful, targeted resources for your specific community.
If you’re looking for more info from the best academic librarians, we’ve got you covered. Download 9 Innovations Shaping Today’s Academic Libraries for more of just that!