Nothing overwhelms me like acquiring scripts for the library. It hits me like a tidal wave. I mean, it’s like being the proverbial kid in a candy store!
Everywhere I look, I find lots of titles that would be good for our collection. In doing research for the annual acquisitions list I look in many places: all the season information that we collect for Playbill, requests from members, Emerge auditions, award winning plays, new Canadian plays, the seasons from different Canadian theatres and Broadway, new product catalogues, and suggestions from trade journals, just for a start. I even browse through Amazon. Add to that a running list of titles we have that need repair or replacement. The list seems endless and full of possibility.
Then reality hits. It’s called a budget. We are all faced with one at some point. So, I do what we all do, and prioritize. Our mandate is to collect published Canadian plays, then member suggestions, then hot new plays, then playwrights or series we collect, then fillers for holes in the collection – especially quality stuff for children and young adults, Christmas themed works and reference materials.
Then just when I think I finally have THE list, the publishing industry does not always cooperate. Plays go out of print, are not published yet, are fiercely protected by publishers (musical librettos especially), or are so expensive I have to put that title aside. What a juggling act!
This is why I appreciate library donations and our Gift-A-Play campaign. I find treasures in all our donated items which definitely helps make our budget go further, especially when I can replace a worn title or two with them. Gift-a-Play helps me fill the collection with titles I had to put aside, or are just hot off the press.
I also appreciate suggestions from members for what we should have in the collection. It may take some time to get these titles, but eventually they are purchased when possible. Happy Place, Leaving Iowa, On Freedom, and Picnic at Hanging Rock were all acquired through suggestions.
When all the dust settles, we end up with a fairly balanced list of acquisitions. I am so satisfied, I’ll do it all again next year.