Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1170 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Economics

Economic Conditions and Library Budgeting

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Recession and Library Budgeting: Implications and Recommendations

The year 2007 had hit the world quite hard. Stock markets crashed globally and real estate prices toppled down. Even the biggest of the companies found themselves struggling for survival. Unemployment rate shot up at a rapid rate and so did inflation. To top it up, U.S. Dollar got onto the road of everlasting devaluation. This was the beginning of what we know as the current economic recession. Ever since 2007, funding expenditures have been hard on pockets for everyone, be it individual households, private sector companies or the government itself. Even the most necessary and crucial sectors like health and education had to face sharp budget cuts. Like everything else, libraries also became victims of fund shortfall, and thus, were forced to reconsider their budget plan. Libraries, whether individual or institutional, had compromise on essential budget elements.

Creating a Budget in Recession

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Creating budgets for libraries is not as easy as it sounds. Things get even worse when these budgets have to be created during recession. Like any other conventional budget, library budgets comprise of incomes and expenditures. Incomes are generally dependent on fees and fines, endowment funds, donations and revenues from routine activities such as printing and photocopying, with endowments being the major contributor. On the other hand, the expenditures are further categorized into operating expenditures and collection expenditure. While operating expenditures are normal administrative expenses, however, collection expenditure includes expenses related to a library's collection such as books, periodicals and other subscription charges.

Term Paper on Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn Assignment

Considering the fact that the major source of funding for libraries come from donations and endowment funds, it is understandable why budgeting becomes difficult during times of economic decline. Funding from both these sources drops and consequently, the dependence remains on operating revenues which, in most cases, are not enough to finance the expenditures. As a result, libraries have to resort to budget cut downs. This is the most difficult part of budgeting and needs careful planning. A tiny lapse of planning might end up affecting the service quality in a negative way. This may further lead to a decline in subscription revenues, thus making situation even worse.

When creating budgets, libraries should keep in view, their objectives and target. The basic determinants that need consideration include the purpose of library's existence, its clientele, its distinctive services and the resources available to render those services (Farmer 1993). This will help them deciding where to cut. The next step is to take into account, the internal and external factors that influence the library's economic environment. For example, members can be asked to fill out a survey that aims to find out which services are most widely used by the members and what resources are least used. This will give planners an idea about where to focus for reductions. As far as external sources are concerned, factors like competitor libraries and technological and political changes, where political changes refer to government's budgetary allocation to libraries. Say for instance, some resources might be available on electronic sources free of cost, therefore libraries need not invest on subscribing such resources. When making reductions in budget it is very important to create balance between the services offered by the library and the sufficiency or excessiveness of resources used in provision of those services. For example, the staff employed for organization of incoming collection may be in excess to the amount of resources coming in. This means that the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn.  (2010, November 13).  Retrieved October 21, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn."  13 November 2010.  Web.  21 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Creating a Library Budget in an Economic Downturn."  November 13, 2010.  Accessed October 21, 2020.