Friday, August 26, 2011

eRate Success Stories

DeLilah Collins, Co Dept Ed
Mary Vernon, Marmot Library Network
Sheila Henry, Rocky Ford Public Library
Mindy Kittay, Anythink - Rangeview Library District
Sandy Messick, La Junta Woodruff Memorial Library

Every dollar counts... it's money in your pocket!

Mindy has been doing this for awhile, and her hardest part is coordinating with IT for new purchases, kind of looking into a crystal ball!

Sandy doesn't have that problem, as they are a smaller library, and she is the entire department!

anythink is integrating their tech plan into their strategic plan...

What is the hardest part of eRate?

Sandy says that is is ALWAYS hard at the beginning. she is continually confused with allowable cost, and how to work it in to her future budget. the forms can definitely be intimidating, but the forms are simpler than they were even a few years ago.

Mary says that it is hard to predict the future, and that a real tech plan is necessary.

Mindy has multiple years going on at once, and it's hard to keep track of.

Any advice for new eRaters?

Sheila says that getting your schools info asap has made everything so much easier.

Mary says to get your things turned in early if possible.

Mindy says to document, document, document. She keeps all emails together in one place. All forms in another binder - there CAN be an audit process.

Sandy has folders for everything for each year, and a list of important numbers. She keeps good relations with the finance department, because they will have to get her their billing statements, etc.

Funds for eRate Manager, used by the State - it keeps track of everything for her and can generate the BEAR form for her. there are different tools available to help you manage your information.

Mary collects the bills throughout the year, and applies for everything all at once.

Christine Kreger noted that the eRate year is different from normal library years (Jan-Dec) - eRate is July through June, and your tech plan MUST be for a whole eRate year, or they can deny your funding.

DeLilah mentioned that if you have RFPs, just do them at the same time that you do your Form 470.

Training this fall - dates not scheduled yet, she will be working with the BTOP trainers to train her to train!! she will come to our area, but it would be appreciated if there were multiple libraries in attendance... Durango doesn't do it, Dolores hires a consultant. Bayfield does it - call Joannie and ask if Cortez does it.