Percentage Based Allocation of an Academic Library Materials Budget

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  • 1. PERCENTAGE BASED ALLOCATION OF AN ACADEMIC LIBARARY MATERIALS BUDGETNELINET Annual Collection Services Conference April 15, 2009 Debbi A. Smith [email_address] Collection Development and Management Librarian Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

2. Adelphi University

  • Private Institution
  • Liberal arts and sciences undergraduate
  • Professional schools in business, education, nursing, psychological studies and social work
  • Four centers
    • Main Garden City campus plus 3 regional centers

3. Adelphi University

  • Carnegie Doctoral Research Institution
    • Bal/SGC Undergraduate Instructional Program
    • Doc/Prof Graduate Instructional Program
  • Four Masters/Three Doctoral programs
  • FTE: 6,800
    • 4,500 undergraduates
    • 2,300 graduates

4. University Libraries

  • 667,000 print volumes
  • 805,000 microformats
  • 30,000 audiovisual items
  • 1,600 print subscriptions
  • 30,000 unique full-text online journals
  • 167 databases

5. Adelphi University Libraries Mission Statement

  • The Adelphi University Libraries play an integral role in the instructional, research, cultural, and student life programs of the University by providing high quality library and information facilities, resources, technology, and services in consonance with the mission and vision of the University .The Libraries serve all members of the Adelphi community representing diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as a wide range of academic disciplines.
  • Contributing to the Universitys efforts in furthering community relations, the Libraries extend many of their services to high school students and adults in neighboring communities.
  • The Libraries provide a comfortable, attractive, and safe environment that is conducive to study and to intellectual inquiry. Access is offered to a comprehensive variety of resources and collections that support Adelphis curriculum and information needs. We provide an outstanding level of user-centered services through continual assessment of programs, collections, and user satisfaction.
  • The Libraries support and promote information literacy by teaching members of the Adelphi community to find and evaluate information effectively and to incorporate it ethically in pursuit of their academic, professional, and personal endeavors.

6. Mission Intent

  • Develop a well balanced collection that supports the parent University goals, priorities, programs and curricula
  • Collect materials at a level that supports the terminal degree offered by each department

7. Background

  • Before I was hired in March, 2004:
    • No Collection Development Librarian
    • No budget in place
      • No allocations by discipline
      • Subject selectors had no idea what they had been spending or what they should be spending
    • No collection development policy
    • No collection assessment
    • No usage statistics
      • Circulation
      • Interlibrary loan

8. Purpose Of A Budget

  • Rational distribution of funds
    • Allocate limited resources fairly and objectively based on equity and need
  • Primary tool of collection development
    • Furthers current collection development goals
    • Prioritizes future collecting objectives
    • Monitor spending over the fiscal year
  • Transparency and accountability
    • Sound fiscal management

9. Factors to Consider

  • Collection needs of institution
    • Reflect curricula
    • Research needs of faculty
  • Practical
  • Easily understood and implemented
  • Flexibility
  • Politically defensible

10. Relation to Other Collection Development Activities

  • Collection development policy
    • General collecting guidelines
    • Subject specific collecting levels
  • Collection Development and Management Committee
  • Fund codes
      • By department and format
  • Liaison activities
  • Statistics: Collection usage and analysis

11. RelatedConsiderations

  • Acquisitions and selection of materials
    • All monographs are firm orders
    • Slip plan
  • ILS
    • Workflows for making selections and placing orders use templates with fund codes
  • Consortia arrangements

12. Problems with Allocating By Historical Precedent

  • Yearly increments to a subject based on past spending
  • Result: Unbalanced collections
    • Rewards departments and selectors who are or have been more active

13. Allocate With a Formula

  • Common factors
    • Number of faculty in a department
    • Accreditation standards
    • Number of courses
    • Course enrollment; number/types of students
    • Number of majors
    • Terminal degree offered
    • Size of current collections
    • ILL activity
    • Circulation of and perceived need for materials
    • Publishing factors output and cost of materials

14. Problems with Formulas

  • Hard to gather data when it gets too elaborate
  • Hard to explain it
  • Can not allocate the entire budget
  • Arbitrary and subjective
    • Manipulation of formula components based on local conditions and biases
    • Weighting factors
    • Whether to use just for monographs, journals, or allocating increases

15. Percentage Based Allocation

  • Introduced by Genaway in 1986
    • The percentage of a librarys budget allocated to each department corresponds to the percentage of the total university budget for that department for instruction and research
  • Representative of how a University as a whole funds each department
    • Reflects curricula and programs
  • Indirectly reflects variables in most formulas

16. Assumptions

  • University budget to each department reflects the criteria found in most formulas
  • Balanced collection of library materials reflecting the curricula is desirable
  • Positive correlation between an academic departments budget and library intensiveness

17. Target

  • Recommended for small to medium sized, non-research oriented academic libraries
    • Collection that include a variety of formats
    • Provides a starting point for identifying imbalances and inequities in library allocations

18. Caveats

  • Not practical for non-departmental allocations
    • Reference, special collections, maps, databases
  • Does not take into account a disciplines
    • Publication output
    • Cost of materials
    • User intensity of library resources
  • Provides a basis for a documented allocation process
    • Professional judgment still needed

19. Process

  • Determine which part of the Library budget is departmental by excluding
    • Microfilm
    • Reference
    • Library science
    • Replacement
    • Maps
    • Specific allocations
  • Instructional and research budget from the Treasurers office
    • Full and part-time faculty

20. Analyze Library Budget

  • Allocated by format lines
    • Books, continuations, subscriptions, microfilm, nonprint, electronic resources
    • Ability to move funds among format lines
      • Decreasing relevance