Academic Library Budgets 101

$175.00

Dates: June 1 - June 28

Credits: 1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

This introductory course provides background information on the vocabulary of budgets, identifies sources of data to create a strong proposal for ongoing and new expenses, and reviews some techniques for documenting budget activities for operational and planning purposes. Librarians and others taking the course will become familiar with standard elements of an operational budget and learn ways to expand critical data into planning tools.

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Course Information

Session

Credits

1.5 CEUs or 15 PDHs

Registration dates

We accept registrations through the first week of classes, unless enrollment is full, and unless the class was canceled before it started due to low enrollment.

Course Description

Every library, at some level, faces pressure to justify and skillfully manage budgets while costs for simply keeping the same level of resources and services steadily rise. The issues and challenges facing libraries are complex and are sometimes misunderstood by librarians themselves as well as administrators and faculty. Simplistic solutions such as moving to fully digital collections or reducing staff are not the answer. Developing effective library budgets involves not only “crunching the budget numbers,” but understanding how the money is spent, where the money comes from, and projecting the impact of future trends in the industry. Successful library budget management involves a balance between careful planning, data gathering, and documentation as well as creativity, informed risk taking, and solid analysis.

This introductory course provides background information on the vocabulary of budgets, identifies sources of data to create a strong proposal for ongoing and new expenses, and reviews some techniques for documenting budget activities for operational and planning purposes. Librarians and others taking the course will become familiar with standard elements of an operational budget and learn ways to expand critical data into planning tools.

Desired outcomes: Students will be able to describe the basic steps in a standard budget cycle, know the standard components in a budget, and create a simple budget and rationale for a library program or project.

Overarching goals, big ideas: Understanding how the library budget fits together within the department and within the larger institutional financial structure is essential. Learning how to assemble data and details for a simple budget will be emphasized.

Overarching questions: How are budgets created and used in an academic library? How does the library budget fit into the bigger financial picture in a college or university. How are budgets used day to day in an academic library?

Weekly Lesson Plans:

  • Week 1: Lesson that describes the elements of a library budget and how it fits into the larger picture. Provide a review of budget processes and typical timing. Readings for the week include background on the topic of budgets with specific articles on current issues and methods in libraries. Student activities include sharing budget experiences, questions, and goals for the class.
  • Week 2: Lesson begins with an overview of spreadsheets and tips for using with library budgets. Readings include web sites from different sources on budget processes and operational details for managing a budget within an organization. Student activities include creating a sample spreadsheet, identifying local budget practices within their current environment. Students will include completing an interview with a budget manager within their organization on the key issues facing their library and share thoughts about how to manage them with the group.
  • Week 3: The course continues with scenarios for creating budgets and additional readings on methods for allocating resources, particular emphasis on collections and infrastructure. The readings include annual publishing and systems reviews/projections by leading analysts (i.e. Marshall Breeding). Students will draft a sample budget proposal for one area of a library budget (Systems, electronic resources, staff development, new initiative grant request, etc.) of interest to them. Feedback from other students and instructor will be part of the activity.
  • Week 4: The final course week includes wrap up of key concepts and shared exercise in dealing with unexpected budget reductions. Readings on innovations in libraries to address loss of budgets/funding will be included and reflections on the feasibility of the innovations discussed. Students will be asked to take the budget proposal they created in Week 3 and cut 10% (or other amount TBD) mid-cycle (after a certain amount has already be spent) as an exercise in “real life” budget management. The group will be asked to comment on peer submissions and offer feedback.

Lauren Slingluff

Lauren SlingluffLauren Slingluff is the Associate Dean for the UConn Library and recently co-chaired their strategic planning steering committee. Within the library her area of responsibility includes: financial services, budgeting, and participating in donor stewardship; facilities, security and space planning; communications and engagement; as well as library technology. Her professional areas of interest are change management, open educational resources (OER), and data analysis. Previously she worked at Wheaton College in Massachusetts as Associate Dean and Interim Dean in the Library and oversaw a large collection management program along with growing their OER program on campus.  Lauren holds a MSLIS from Simmons College and completed her undergraduate degree at St. Lawrence University with a double major in Religious Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Outside of work, she serves on the ACRL New England Chapter board as Treasurer and enjoys reading, knitting, and living a highly caffeinated life.

Tracey Leger-Hornby

Tracey Leger-HornbyTracey Leger-Hornby is an independent consultant with over 30 years of leadership and expertise in libraries and technology primarily in higher education. Her previous positions include Dean of Library Services at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Associate CIO at Brandeis University, Library Director at Rivier University, and several positions in the library and academic technology at Simmons College. Recently, as a consultant, Tracey served as interim Head Librarian at the Worcester Public Library and Interim Director of Research and Instruction at Wheaton College. She is currently working with the Massachusetts Library Association on their long-term strategic plan. Her interests include library management issues, application of new technology in libraries, and business process improvement. In addition, Tracey has long-term leadership and active involvement in regional and national library and technology profession organizations.

How to Register

To enroll yourself or other participants in a class, use the “Register” button that follows the description of each course. If the “Register” button does not show up, try loading the page in a different web browser. Contact us if you have technical difficulties using our shopping cart system or would like to pay for an enrollment using another method. On the payment page in the shopping cart system, there is a place to add notes, such as the names and email addresses of participants you wish to enroll. We will contact you to request this information in response to your processed payment if you do not include it in the “notes” field. Prior to the start of the workshop, we will send participants their login instructions.

Payment Info

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Alternatively, if it is an institutional payment, we can arrange to invoice you. Contact us by email, and we can make arrangements to suit your institution's business processes.

Special Session

Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.

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