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For a number of years I have purposely purchased "multiple" copies (2  
to 10) of titles that support the curriculum, are high circulation  
titles/replacements, hardbacks which will go OP or to paperback, or  
are core collection titles.  They are NOT cataloged or processed but  
shelved and housed in the library's storage area.  Presently, I have  
1500-2000 books.

Having been a school librarian for over 30 years, my library budget  
has fluctuated because of changes in administration, district funding,  
state funding, and federal funding.  I have experienced healthy  
increases, 10%-20% annual decreases, and multi-year "no increase"  
budgets.  Regardless of my budget, book prices have rarely gone  
DOWN!   How much would you save if you replaced a book your purchased  
10 years ago instead of buying it this year?  What if your annual  
replacement cost was zero?  Consequently, as a hedge and protection  
against these variables beyond my control, especially in the good  
years, I purchased extra copies thus developed a "rainy day" bookshelf.

Besides the usual 10%-20% cuts, I considered the worse case scenario.   
What if my acquisition budget was eliminated completely?  Books are  
antiquated and old technology.  Who needs books when everything and  
all knowledge are online!  Of course, I was told and reassured drastic  
cuts and/or failure to support collection development would never  
happen.  However, if it did, my ideal goal was to be able to at least  
maintain the existing collection at little expense.  Also, regardless  
of financial circumstances, my popular demand titles, necessary  
assignment titles, and curriculum support titles will always be  

Robert L. Hicks, librarian
Arkansas City High School
Arkansas City,  KS 67005


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