Catching up further, I saw this on in AL Direct — this guy stretches his library’s tiny collection development budget with sites like Paperbackswap and BookMooch. Smart!
On the same day, Clark had packaged seven books to ship out — paying all the postage personally — though he said both the incoming and outgoing stacks were smaller than average. Web sites make it possible. Clark has 800 books listed on www.bookmooch.com, 1,500 on www.swaptree.com and 2,500 on www.paperbackswap.com. He keeps a wish list of items he’s looking for, as do librarians and individuals all over the world. Computers do the matching.
In an era when any publicly funded institution has to spend wisely, Clark manages to make a lot out of a little. His annual buying budget of $4,400 comes from donations, grants, and proceeds from the library’s endowment. His salary and other operating expenses are covered by contributions from the towns of Hartland, St. Albans and Palmyra.
While he said the library has enjoyed steady public funding in recent years, it still operates on a bare-bones budget. Clark is the only employee, paid for 34 hours a week. There are situations like that all over Maine, said Stephanie Zurinski, the Maine State Library’s central Maine liaison.
Why the heck not? Especially for a smaller library that needs to maintain a tight and very current collection — what a great way to make use of weeded items and donations. And check this out:
Since Clark took over at Hartland Public Library four years ago, the collection has grown from 16,000 to 24,000 items and the formerly meager DVD, audio book and music collections now fill numerous shelves, according to Clark. Circulation has tripled to about 75 books a day and the patron list has grown from 700 to about 1,250
I’m darn impressed that he pays for the postage himself out of that 34-hour-a-week salary, too. I don’t know what he’d call it, but I’d call this Library 2.0 in action.