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The Library Materials Budget WMRLS Basic Library Techniques Series: Materials Selection and Collection Development Fall 2007 Review of Homework Questions: What is your library’s budget for materials? Is this amount enough? Explain why.

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the library materials budget

The Library Materials Budget

WMRLS Basic Library Techniques Series:

Materials Selection and Collection Development

Fall 2007

review of homework questions
Review of Homework Questions:
  • What is your library’s budget for materials?
  • Is this amount enough? Explain why.
  • How would you justify an increase in your materials budget?
  • How is your materials budget allocated (by category, children’s, adult, reference, or whatever other breakdowns you use)?
types of materials
Types of Materials
  • Books and related materials…
    • Large Print
    • Books on Tape or CD
    • Talking Books (thru Perkins School for Blind) or toll-free 1-800-852-3133.
    • E-Books
  • Media or AV:
    • Movies:
      • Videocassettes (VHS)
      • DVDs
      • Downloadables
    • Music:
      • Audiotape
      • CDs
      • Other formats, like MP3, downloads, etc.
types of materials cont d
Types of Materials, cont’d
  • Periodicals, on-hand and on-line.
  • Online Databases such as Gale’s InfoTrac and EBSCO’s Literary Reference Center.
  • Newspapers, including ProQuest and NewsBank.
acquisition to have and to hold
Acquisition “To Have and to Hold”
  • Advantages:
    • You’re in control of getting and keeping it.
    • If it’s in your library, it’s available.
    • It’s there till you (or a user) gets rid of it.
  • Disadvantages:
    • The version or edition you have is fixed unless YOU pay for the update.
    • On-site materials take up space, a precious commodity in most libraries.
    • Ongoing maintenance - Weeding, repairing, shelving.
access online
Access - Online
  • Advantages:
    • Opens up new worlds and information.
    • More titles don’t require more library space.
    • Resources are updated frequently.
    • Group pricing, or free; economy of scale.
  • Drawbacks:
    • You are not in control.
    • Titles or availability can change or stop.
    • Different interfaces can be puzzling.
    • Connectivity issues – # of computers, speed, reliability.
access temporary
Access – Temporary
  • Lease, such as McNaughton
  • WMRLS bookmobile and deposits
  • Resource Sharing, e.g.,
    • ILL & OCLC,
    • C/W MARS,
    • Virtual Catalog,
    • MassCat,
    • etc.
what does enough mean
What does “Enough” mean?
  • Accomplish library’s goals, demographics and trends.
  • Meet popular needs.
  • Keep ‘em coming back for more.
  • State Aid’s Materials Expenditure Percentage Requirement.
state aid percent of total expenditures on materials
State Aid Percent of Total Expenditures on Materials
  • Under 5,000 20%
  • 5,000 - 9,999 19%
  • 10,000 - 14,999 16%
  • 15,000 - 24,999 15%
  • 25,000 - 49,999 13%
  • 50,000 and over 12%

Citations: MGL c.78 s.19B(5) and 605 CMR 4.01(5)

MBLC Policy (Materials Expenditure) January 9, 1997

comparative library stats
Comparative Library Stats
  • Definitions: Per Capita, median & mean
  • MBLC data:
    • Printed Reports – mailed annually.
    • Data on MBLC Website: (
  • Public Library Data:

  • Data for other types of libraries:
  • Selecting specific towns or groups of towns:
  • Public Library Charts:
  • Peer Group Medians:
mass children s standards 2007
Mass. Children’s Standards (2007)

An annual budget must be designated for materials and maintenance of the children's collection. A portion of the budget shall be allocated for replacement and duplicate copies. Factors to be considered in budget allocation shall include:

  • the percentage of the total circulation consisting of children's materials,
  • the need to expand children's services,
  • the percentage of the total population who are children,
  • the comparative cost of children's materials and adult materials,
  • the necessity of replacing children's materials more frequently,
  • the need to include new formats and technologies.
standards for public library services to young adults in massachusetts mla 2005
Standards for Public Library Services to Young Adults in Massachusetts (MLA 2005)

A portion of the library budget must be designated for young adult materials. Evaluation of the usage patterns of the library’s entire collection, as well as a variety of statistics and output measures supplied by the young adult librarian, should determine budget allocations. The young adult librarian should have full responsibility for expending the young adult materials budget. When the public library also serves as the school library, arrangements must be made for reimbursements from the school department budget.

advocating for the library materials budget
Advocating for the library materials budget
  • Use data and charts, portrayed in easy to understand and attractive ways
  • Appeal to targeted populations and groups, but must start with trustees
  • Not just “library folk” speaking
  • Support of education issue
  • Civic pride issue
library use in context
Library Use in Context…
  • Five times more people visit U.S. public libraries each year than attend U.S. professional and college football, basketball, baseball and hockey games combined.
  • If library patrons were to pay the average sporting game ticket price of approximately $35 per visit, libraries would generate more than $39 billion in annual revenues.
  • Source: OCLC Report: Libraries: How they stack up
spending tracking the materials budget
Spending & Tracking the Materials Budget
  • Whose responsibility? Library Staff or Trustees?
  • Selection must be responsive to needs; distributed if advisable.
  • Ongoing process - Track % of total budget expenditures for State Aid %.
  • Wish-lists for extra-budget surprises or fundraising successes.
  • Stretch your dollars - Coops and UPA.
recommended readings on materials budgets
Recommended Readings on Materials Budgets
  • Farmer, Leslie S.J. When your library budget is almost zero. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1993.
  • Gorman, G.E. and Ruth H. Miller. Collection management for the 21st century: a handbook for librarians. Westport, CT: Greenwood Pr., 1997.
  • Martin, Murray S. and Milton T. Wolfe. Budgeting for information access: Managing the resource budget for absolute access. Chicago and London: American Library Association, 1998.
  • Martin, Murray S. Collection development and finance: a guide to strategic library-materials budgeting. Chicago and London: American Library Association, 1995.
  • Warner, Alice Sizer. Budgeting: a how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal-Schuman, 1998.