1. First, ask students what they know about the way in which their own school library is organized and funded. This is a good time to invite the school librarian to come in and talk about the library—particularly how it’s funded, and what might be needed by the library at the present time.
2. Divide students into at least four groups, and, using the websites listed below, as well as resources provided by the school librarian, ask each group to do some research on the following topics:
- Laura Bush’s initiatives for school libraries (history; examples of library projects)
- How the school library in their school is funded at the present time
- What the funding is used for in their school library; how it is expended
- What needs their school library might have at the moment
3. When the research is completed, ask each group to share what it has learned. Then, discuss with the students as many ideas as they can think of as to what they might do to help the school library meet its needs. Keep a list of students’ ideas on the chalkboard or a large flip chart in the room.
4. Ask each group to select one idea to pursue. Then, using the website, Online Project Planning Tutorial (below), have students draw up a plan for their project. If the project includes writing a grant, direct them to the American Association of School Librarians Resource Guides to Library Funding website (also below), which has a grant-writing tutorial included on its pages.
5. When the project planning/grant writing is complete, invite the school librarian to return to the classroom to talk with the students about their proposals. From this collaboration might just come a plan for meeting the school library’s needs that students can actually put into action.
The White House Conference on School Libraries, June 4, 2002
American Association of School Librarians Honors Laura Bush
First Lady's Initiatives for School Libraries
Online Project Planning Tutorial
American Association of School Librarians Resourse Guide to Library Funding
This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University