Financial Management in Academic Libraries: Budgets are More Than Constraints

Sponsored by ACRL

Recorded on 02/12/2018
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 27

Financial Management in Academic Libraries book cover. Book title in green and black with a thick, black shaded-in circle around it. Background is white lined notebook paper.

Why is a library’s budget a political document? Dean of the University Libraries at the University of West Florida and author of the recent book, Financial Management in Academic Libraries, Robert Dugan, explains in this week’s episode that budgets express how library management prioritizes services and programs. Without unlimited resources, libraries have to rank what they do and then commit to doing it based on the funding they receive from the institution. The budget is a statement that promises to use allocated resources to successfully carry out specific services. Further, Dugan explains how to get past the idea that a budget is a constraining document. Rather than stressing out about the lack of funds available to enable all of the services a library must provide, managers, as they become more familiar with their budgets, begin to understand how the budget connects to the strategic plan. In other words, stop fretting about the bottom line. Instead, work with the parts of the budget that can be influenced.

Looking for the book? Buy it here.


About the guest:

Robert E. Dugan is the dean of libraries at the University of West Florida (Pensacola). Prior to assuming this position, he had been at Suffolk University, Boston; Wesley College, Dover, Delaware; and Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He has also worked in state and public libraries during his more than forty-three-year career. He is the coauthor of fourteen books, including the award-winning Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives (2009). He has taught library financial management at the master’s and doctoral levels and at library leadership workshops.


Listen to the rest of the series:


About the Music:
The intro and outro music in Authority File is “Grapes,” mixed by I dunno. The transition music is “Peace ( There’s A better Way ),” mixed by Loveshadow. The music is available on ccMixter, and is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (cc-by 4.0).