September and October Reads

These past two months I was reading several books at once. I only recommend this if you get super depressed reading one book and need something to lighten up the load.

Escape From Camp 14 by Blaine Harden was a very depressing account of the secret prison camps in North Korea, Blaine Harden was one of the very few who managed to escape and tell the story of his survival.  The book was frightening but real.  I would recommend it to anyone, I only wish people who read it would force the rest of the world to release the people imprisoned there.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business by Charles Duhigg: A fascinating read about how human behavior works. If you want to change your life, this book will be you ideas about how to do it.  Some quick tips:
recognize cues and reward , take  time to change, research, observe your behavior both before and after action.
1. Identify routine.
2.experiment with rewards
After each activity jot down first 3 things come to mind
3. Isolate cues: Notice your location, time and emotional state.  
4. Have a plan

I am still looking for a really light read, but haven’t found it yet.Image

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Funding Opportunities for Librarians

In today’s market, it is almost essential to look for grants outside of your local school. Several grants I was successful with are: Target Field Trip Grant, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant and the Donors’ Choose.org.
Apply early and don’t wait for the last day to submit your application. All of the grants I mentioned require you to submit your application online. Waiting to the last minute means the server could crash because many others have waited until the last minute too. Save yourself the aggravation and apply way before the deadline.
Target Field Trip Grant: Funding up to $700 for trips for students. Deadline is September 30. Application period opens: August 1. Deadline: September 30. HINT: Think about your idea in May, ask your principal for permission to apply during the summer. Apply early!! Before school starts is the best time, you know once the students come in, there is not much time for grant writing. https://corporate.target.com/corporate-responsibility/grants/field-trip-grants
Other opportunities from Target are the Art, Culture and Design in School grants, could be used to fund cultural programs in schools. Apply between March 1 and April 30. Grants are up to $2,000. Think: author visit and tie it in with an author/illustrator. Could be used to motivate students to enter the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Competition: http://schools.nyc.gov/offices/teachlearn/arts/ejk.html
Deadline: January 24th, 2014. For New York City students only.
Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant: http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/
Fall Deadline: October 15, 2013. Spring deadline: February 15, 2014. I recommend applying for the spring grant as soon as the application is posted. Begin thinking about the grant now. When the application goes live, submit. Lowes’ limits the grant application process to the first 1500 schools that apply, again, the earlier, the better.
Meeting deadlines is essential for getting the grants.
Donor’s Choose.org: This is a great site to go when you wish to fund small projects. Benefits: easy application, quick turnover if your project gets funded. Drawbacks: you get the supplies listed on the site, you need to find what you need from the vendors listed. May not always find what you are looking for. BIG PLUS: no deadlines, apply whenever you have the time and the ideas. http://www.donorschoose.org/

Looking for Funding try the FOUNDATION CENTER

The Foundation Center, located at 79 Fifth Avenue, New York  is a great place to start researching funding opportunities for the dream grant idea of yours.  Although you can visit the Foundation Center online, I highly recommend making a trip to their library.  I visited as part of the NYC School Librarians’ local meeting.  If you do visit the center, you can use all their databases for free and get some assistance from the staff.  The NYC School librarians were given an in depth introduction to the databases available.  We learned how to find donors, and explore possible funding opportunities. Just to let you know:  October is Funding for Arts Month at the Foundation Center.  There are special programs where you can learn about funding opportunities.  On Wednesday, October 30, the foundation is hosting TWO special FREE events: from 3:00-4:00 pm you can learn about GRANTSEEKING BASICS for individuals in the arts.

From 5:30-7:30 there is a panel discussion on FUNDRAISING For FILMMAKERS.  Both events will take place at the Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Avenue.   On the website you can look at the tax returns of many organizations who give grants to many different causes.  By using the databases of the Foundation Center it is possible to find prospective donors who just may be able to fund the project you have been dreaming of.  In case you can’t get down to the Foundation Center, visit the websitetoday and have fun exploring,  Who knows, maybe you can help your prospective college student fund their tuition. Look at foundationcenter.org.