Collaborative funding for collection development is vital, and does not have to be sourced solely from the local library budget. Below are alternative funding sources for participants to consider.
Many Florida academic libraries have existing budget categories of operational funds that can be allocated for purchases of materials including "one-time purchase of eResources such as ebooks and audio eBooks. If libraries normally purchase eBook materials, a certain percentage of those funds could easily be utilized as a allocation to the shared collection. During the annual budget development process, consider adding funding to the budget request to be able to contribute during the next budget cycle.
As this project was originally conceived as a means to address student online support needs during the COVID pandemic, government funding programs to support colleges such as CARES and HERRF funding certainly can be identified to support institutional resources for struggling students. These "one-time" federal funds (and other support programs) are perfect opportunities for institutions to address student needs through online resource development on Florida SHARES. The institution must spend funds by specific deadlines, and these resources are extremely well suited to support the goals of those federal programs.
Many grant programs developed through an institutions' Grants Department offer opportunities to "write in" supporting resource budget lines that could include learning materials such as eBooks. For example, if a grantor was interested in funding a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math program, then a budget line could be added into the request for supporting academic materials that will support and sustain the grant project. If awarded, the institution could add materials to the shared collection and "demonstrate use and impact" of materials funded by the grant that go well beyond the institution. Funders often like to see a greater "bang for their buck" through metrics such a usage, impact, and sustainability. Florida SHARES is a perfect project to include into many grant programs. Reach out to your grants administrator to talk about funding possibilities.
Many times, higher education institutions serve communities that are supported by large corporations who like to invest in sustainable programs that support the community. These corporations (through you Institutional Foundation) may be interested in funding online resources in Florida SHARES. If significant funding appears to be available, arrangements can be made to note their support on the landing pages on the Florida SHARES program. Reach out to your Foundation Director to hear about opportunities.
Effective and efficient higher education projects are of interest to the Board of Governors of the State University System (BOG), Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), Florida Legislature and Executive departments. If Florida SHARES gains significant participation and demonstrates success, we would hope that we could add annual funding for shared eBooks and audio Books into the annual (LBR) funding allocations for the Florida Virtual Campus. (FLVC). Shared resources provided through Florida SHARES can have an exceptionally positive impact on the success of students, faculty and staff of Florida's higher education institutions.