Effective collection management and funding advocacy require that academic library materials budgets reflect the complexity of their underlying acquisitions. The proliferation of electronic resources have led to a substantial increase in the complexity of collection management tasks and the overall impact on the library’s budget sustainability. Monitoring and counteracting the inflation gap brought by the uncontrollable increases in subscription prices, as well as successful advocacy for acquisitions funding are essential parts of electronic resources management today. Libraries need to effectively communicate with their constituents and support their funding requests with powerful data, which the traditional – pre-electronic resources era – budget structure is unequipped to provide.
In the digital era, libraries are in need of an expanded budget structure that accounts for the four critical aspects of the acquisitions process – material type, format, acquisition mode, and discipline – and is able to provide transparency and visibility, support long-term planning and ongoing spending control, as well as facilitate reporting and advocacy.
This innovative budget structure was created and implemented in The Claremont Colleges Library in 2012 and is being used for a fifth consecutive fiscal year. During this time, it has evolved with the changing needs of the organization and the industry and has proven its adaptability and resilience.
Using the structure has significantly improved the transparency of the library’s activities and contributed in a powerful way to regaining faculty and administration’s trust in the library’s stewardship of institutional resources.
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