How to Start Your Own Free Library
Starting a Free Public Library is a great idea. It allows people to experience the benefits of an open community library. But there are some disadvantages. Many people think about what they would like to see or do while visiting the library. The disadvantages seem to be more on the negative side than anything else.
One of the biggest disadvantages is that there are so many services and special services offered. You might get confused if you didn’t know which services were for your use. You need to make sure you understand what services you want. Then you can search for them and register for them.
People who start their own free library often say they wish they could offer more services, but the services they wish to offer were not even in the budget at the time. They also had to start their library in the beginning. Once it is opened, there are still costs to pay, such as electricity, water, security, maintenance, equipment, supplies, etc. So, many people say they wish they could have offered a little bit more help.
Another disadvantage people often talk about is the cost to get library cards. To start your own free library is great. It allows you to get involved and volunteer to help others. But, when you start your own free library card program, you are paying those costs, and that means you don’t end up contributing any of those costs to the community or charity.
Many things can cause people to go elsewhere for their library needs. Many programs out there, many of which require minimal cost so that you can get started with minimal financial risk. However, once you get involved, the costs are not hidden, and they are not “hidden,” either, by your choice of services. You know what you are getting into every time you walk into the library. This is not true when you are starting your own card program.
One thing you will find is that many people want to know where their money is going. If you are in nonprofit service, you can be pretty sure that your donations will be used with care. That makes a difference. When you are in a business-oriented setting, you may find that most people assume that their contributions go straight to the bottom of the list. If you want to set your library apart from the others, make sure that the funds are properly accounted for and given only to services and not goods.
Perhaps, the most important thing to do when you start your own free library cards program is to set your priorities right from the start. Don’t think that you can spend money on every project. You might get very excited about a particular project and spend more than you should. That, in turn, could lead to other problems. You may also spend too much money on promotional items and forget to keep track of your actual donations.
To truly make a difference in your community, take a careful look at your finances. Do you really need to spend all your resources on promotional items? Do some of those items actually help your organization? Don’t ignore the simple things, either. Instead, commit to spending only what is necessary and never wasting any money.
There are a few things to consider before you jump into the idea of starting your own library. One is location. If you plan to offer many services or products, you may want to consider a building with easy access to people who regularly use those products. For example, libraries in suburbia often have limited and crowded spaces, making it difficult for patrons to reach the shelves to purchase books or supplies. If you’re in an apartment building or townhome, the lack of space could also be a disadvantage.
availability of funding
Another is the availability of funding. Libraries offer different types of services and programs, depending on their funding. Some get grants from the government, and others ask for donations. While some organizations rely on grant money exclusively, others depend on donations and sponsorship from local businesses and individuals. If you have the budget to launch a new facility, be sure to consider these factors before you get started.
Finally, the reliability of the service provider should be a concern. Start your own free library card programs with nonprofit organizations that receive support from charitable foundations, corporations, and individuals. Established groups may be willing to work with you to provide information about their services. Look for those that are members of the Association of American Libraries and participate in the ALLS conferences and activities. Such organizations are highly aware of library security issues and may be able to provide information about threats and measures they have taken to protect data.