Proposals, grants, projects and careers: a strategic view for libraries
This paper is based on a talk given before the Fiesole Collection Development Retreat, March 2004. It was originally intended to illuminate challenges of grant activity for collection development managers. The relationship between US foundations and academic libraries is discussed, with comments on project design and the value of proposal writing and grant management as a means of career development. The paper leads to the notion that experience with proposals and grants leads to better general managerial skill, which may have value for the organization independently of the direct benefit of the grant. It is suggested that library management should encourage professional staff to seek grants and to engage in the proposal design process; at the same time, the author warns that such activity can conflict with routine operations. As an overview of foundation behavior and the efforts required for grant seeking, it helps library managers, especially those with limited experience in grant activity, understand both the opportunities and costs involved.
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