It is important to remember that funding a library improvement project does not have to follow a prescribed linear course. In Crowdfunding the Library, we noted that librarians and educators can generate interest to improve libraries.
Crowd-funding is a way to kick-start a library building improvement plan. For example, there are web sites (kickstarter.com) and if you are an academic library Bill Gates recommends (microryza.com). Both are websites offer funding opportunities with a solid plan.
Organizing the funding process can trigger additional opportunities that will gain traction in your community. One way to begin this process is to ask the community – What makes a beautiful library? “25 Stunning Libraries From Around The World” provides inspiration – ideas that you can use to get people excited about libraries.
Remember libraries are not just about books or e-books. They are social spaces, places for tutoring and collaboration, culture and programming. We are planning libraries that are digital as well as social. They are integrated with library information systems that enable circulation, reference, access and ebook access. According to Publishers Weekly – Bookstats trade publishing “Total e-book sales rose 44.2% in 2012, to $3.04 billion and accounted for 20% of trade revenue in the year, up from 16% in 2011.” The 44% increase in e-book sales is an important indicator that access to the library is digital as well as physical. Kick-starting the fundraising process will help the community understanding that these changes are an opportunity.
The practice of library master planning helps and supports local fundraising efforts. The studies help answer questions about the future, providing opportunities to align the community. Fundraising effors will help your library solve problems and generate experiments with new services.
Kick-start the programming process and start communicating new ideas. Use Kickstarter to get the ball rolling, enabling your library to create an improvement plan. If you are a global library in need of support, Deborah Jacobs blog about the development of libraries with Gates funding may be a starting point.