Last week we were discussing the depressing fact that school libraries may become a quaint remembrance of the past. Now, I knew budgets were being slashed, but I had no idea just how much. The librarian at the boys' school told me yesterday that when she started at Stepford Elementary her yearly budget was $12,000/yr., it's now...$1,100. I am sure that $1,100 only covers supplies and I am sure that most schools find themselves in the same dire straights.
I asked her is she could procure the books (within the budget) from any source available (i.e. Amazon Used Marketplace). The answer, "no". All books purchased with the budget money must be 2002 and above prints (unless they are OOP). Isn't bureaucracy great -they'll cut the budget $11,000 and then say you can bargain shop with the measly amount you're left with.
So I was thinking...I know it's right before Christmas...but this is something that Bloggers should take up as a cause. A 'cause blogger' if you will.
I love the idea of the 'new media' working to preserve the 'old media'...
Here's a rough idea of my proposal: Call the local school in your area and ask the librarian for 5-10 books from her list of things she had to shelf due to financial constraints. Purchase the books from an online bookseller (often times you can get new books for as low as 1¢ - $5) and donate them to the school courtesy of the blogosphere. We can all do it once every other month or so and post all the books we bought to give others idea and inspire more people to join in.
If someone can think of a more cohesive plan, please let me know.