Narrative Budgets: Telling the Story of Your Library’s Value and Values
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A library’s budget should be a reflection of its values and goals, but budget formats do not always lend themselves to telling the library’s story. Your budget message needs to be aligned with your library’s broader communication plan so that user experience is consistent with messaging from other library venues. Ideally, your budget, along with all library communication points, include language from your library’s values, mission, and vision statements and strategic plan. This article outlines traditional budget formats, introduces a format called Narrative Budgeting, and provides an example and outline for creating a narrative budget for your library using language from your library’s strategic plan and mission, vision, and values statements. Once set up, your Narrative Budget can be adapted and used to communicate with a variety of constituents to present an understandable and justifiable use of the library’s allocated resources.