Monday, 30 March 2009

Budgets or how to ask for more money

I've recently been doing some research into what other colleges in my consortium are spending on their online resources. My library currently has... well.... none. I've spent a lot of time looking for ones that are appropriate and that I can afford but so far I've not turned up any. Anyway - my colleagues at the other colleges seem to have rather healthy budgets, the highest so far being £30,000 to spend on online resources. That is, without stating figures, a darn sight more than I could ever hope for. In fact it dwarfs my entire library budget on its own!
I managed to catch our head of finance this morning to ask him a few questions. I wanted to know when the end of the budget year was, because at the conference last week lots of people were saying that their year end was in April. Slightly panicked me. Anyway, turns out that the budget is uber flexible and I can buy for next year starting in May if I want to. Took a weight off my mind. I was also assured that if I didn't spend it I wouldn't lose it which was also good to hear. I have a feeling though that I will spend it.
I'm trying to decide how to approach the matter of more money. The FD was very ameanable about the money for the new LMS but I wonder what will happen when I ask for £5 to 10k more for next year. I think I might ask for £8000 and see what I can wangle. I would like 10 but I think I will get more like 5. Which is understandable. I think it's also more realistic to start with a small figure and devot that to finding good resources then ask for lots of money and get totally lost. If my £5000 is well spent then it gives me good ammunition to ask for more the year after. I've asked for a meeting with the FD for after Easter so at least it gives me some time to prepare.

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