Reflections on Library Financial Managment

I found Cross’s paper, “Budget Allocation Formulas: magic or illusion?” very interesting. I feel I would instinctively make use of budget allocation formulas if I had to dole out library’s funds as they just seem the fairest way of doing it. But I think Cross is right when he says that the various factors of each formal need to be both identified and weighted appropriately in order for the formula to work. I think he is also right when he corrects (Walter’s 2008) statement that costs of books are static, pointing out true costs of books depend on the type of library under discussion. The example given of the University with an advanced nursing degree but no medical program highlights this well.

I found Holt’s paper “Getting Beyond the Pain: understanding and dealing with declining library funding” a frank (and slightly depressing, hopefully things have improved since 2005) acknowledgement of the decline in library funding and the fact that new ways of fundraising must be developed. I was impressed how willing Libri was to challenge and clarify the idea that library use in the U.K. was on the rise by reviewing the data themselves and pointing out much of the new users were there for information technology reasons. This resulted in funding being moved away from books and towards I.T. highlighting that the libraries were suffering from under investment. I think investment in I.T. is important but with perhaps more focus on customer support for the other aspects of the library. One of Holt’s solutions points out that a good search engine or the libraries catalogue is important something I very much agree with. It is incredibly frustrating not to be able to find the book/journal that you need.








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