Transparent acquisitions budgets and expenditures for academic libraries

Posted on Thu 19 March 2009 in Libraries

In my most recent post over at the Academic Matters site, after a general discussion about "new books lists" in academic libraries, I tackle one of the dirty laundry areas for academic libraries: exposing how collection development funds are allocated to departments. Here's a relevant quote:

For 2008-2009, we decided to adopt a much more transparent approach our collection development decisions and began publishing publicly available collection development reports on a weekly basis. These reports mirror our library budgets, which are broken down by a per-department, per-material type, per-item language hierarchy. We make the allocated, encumbered, and paid budget amounts available for all to see - inside and outside the Laurentian University community. ... We recognize that there can be political consequences of exposing this data, particularly if departments feel that they deserve more of a piece of the collection development budget than they currently receive - but those conversations need to be held, and making the data as transparent as possible can only help facilitate those discussions.

Earth-shaking stuff, eh? If you want to read more, go check it out! Maybe you can be the first person to comment on one of the More than Bookends blog posts that Amy Greenberg, Anne Fullerton, and I are slowly publishing :-)