The Role of Planning in Grant Preparation

Program Description:

Winning a grant doesn’t just happen – it requires careful planning and preparation. Marlene Heroux and

Dawn Thistle, Linda Hummel Shea, Karen Pangallo, Debra Mandel

From left:Dawn Thistle, Linda Hummel Shea, Karen Pangallo, Debra Mandel

Shelley Quezada from the MA Board of Library Commissioners present examples of academic libraries’ use of a planning process, longrange plans, and assessment tools to win grants and implement change. Grant projects include working with people with disabilities, green initiatives, acting on LibQual results, and other projects, described by the librarians who planned them. The program is sponsored by ALS and ACRL/NEC.

Tuesday: 10:30 to 12

This is a follow-up from last year’s program on grant planning and features four successful academic grant programs. These grants are all  the result of a planning and assessment project by their colleges.

Debra Mandel, Head of Digital Media Design Studio, Snell Library, Northeastern University,

Grant for Assistive Technology. One of the goals of NE’s grant was to provide tools to learn how to use these resources.

Assistive Technology examples: magnifying glass, assitive listening systems, closed captions.

For campuses with a disability resource center, the first step is to get to know the people at these centers.

Assistive Technology Committee – charge was established in 2000. We started building momentum for assistive technology even before we started thinking about writing a grant.

Grant-writing process was six months for a two-year grant. Put together a grant-writing team with five people that represented all interests, including a person from the Burlington campus and the Webmaster who is familiar with this technology.

Students who were part of the user population said they needed additional training and thought the services weren’t marketed well enough.

The program and service components of the grant included staff training, patron training, equipment and materials, and greater publicity.

The grant was for $19,779 with matching funds of $29,076 from the university.

The Snell Library Web site lists the equipment that is available to users with disabilities.

Highlights – tripled number of Assistive Technology workstations, added 51 Closed Caption video titles to collection, conducted 13 half-hour training sessions for public services staff, coordinated two workshops for all staff, revised and expanded Assistive Technology flyer.

Karen Pangallo, North Shore Community College and Linda Hummel Shea, Northern Essex Community College

Academic Library Incentive Grant – This year, two academic libraries did grants for campus green initiatives. The MBLC is offering a grant next year specifically targeting green initiatives.

Pangallo – hates the planning process. In 2007, her library submitted the long-range plan. At the same time, her college had submitted something called the Green Curriculum Project. As part of the project, the college introduced seven new courses. The library needed to find ways to support the new curriculum in those courses. The courses cover a wide variety of areas.

The college is working on its strategic plan this year, and one goal is to support green initiatives.

It was the perfect time to apply for an Academic Library Incentive grant because the library needed money to provide those resources. This grant was written primarily to support the curriculum.

Shea – this is her third LSTA grant and Shea loves planning. Northern Essex had a five-year grant on file with the MBLC. The library recently did a collection analysis of the biology collection. The average age of the biology collection was 1972 and the average age of the physical sciences collection was 1969. The library also had a need for science database subscriptions. At the same time, the college was looking at environmental impact and sustainability issues.

The program components are to work with faculty and students to develop a library book, journal and DVD collections. They are also celebrating “Green Library Month” in Spril 2009. The event will include a carbon footprint project, an electronics recycling center, and a college open house with Jim Merkel as a speaker.

A big thing they’re working on is evaluation. They’ve put in an evaluation component that includes collection usage and outcomes from the carbon footprint project.

Dawn Thistle, Assumption College

Why plan? We all know we’re supposed to plan, and I don’t know how to promote it any better than that. Assumption began its first strategic plan in 1999. The college does action plan updates almost every year and has done the renewals.

Assumption has already done a disabilities grant and a customer service grant.

The LibQual grant paid for the LibQual survey. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.”

The best thing about LibQual is it offered a way to manage the library’s marketing effort. They got good feedback from the students. Some suggestions were easy to address, but it also gave them the information needed to move to the next step and hire a space planning consultant.

Assumption also applied for an Academic Incentive Grant to fund “Instructo-mercials.” It addressed the strategic plan goal of developing library instruction plans that would use new Web 2.0 technologies. The commercials were based on A Christmas Carol. We’ll post them to the blog as soon as they are available on the Web.

Other things grow out of your planning. When you submit your budget proposals, you can show where specific items are covered in the plan. Assumption also links performance assessments to the plan. The plan also helps them to market and manage projects. All of their plans link together and support each other.

If you haven’t done a strategic plan, just sit down and start writing. Include things even if you can’t afford it. Don’t worry if it isn’t done the “right” way.

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