Successful Budgeting in Academic Libraries

An ACRL e-Learning Online Course
April 16 - May 4, 2012

Description: An essential skill for managers is the ability to develop and manage a budget. However, many new managers are ill-prepared for this responsibility, since they may have received little, if any, education on budgeting while in library school.  This ACRL e-Learning course will teach participants essential budgeting skills, including how to develop and manage a budget and how to write a persuasive budget request. Participants will be introduced to common budget and financial control practices, as well as finance-related terminology and principles used in higher education. As part of the coursework, participants will conduct an informational interview with a financial officer within their library or institution. Finally, participants will create a budget for a potential program or service in their library, as well as a budget request.  The course will include weekly multimedia lessons; structured forum discussions; and weekly chat sessions with the instructor. Full participation in course discussions and a completed budget and proposal will earn participants a certificate of completion.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand common budgeting and financial control systems and terminology used in academic libraries and institutions of higher education.
  • Develop a comprehensive budget for an event, program and/or service.
  • Write a persuasive budget request appropriate for submission to a supervisor or budget committee at the library and/or institutional level.

Audience: Academic librarians who have recently been promoted to or aspire to positions with budgetary responsibility.

Presenter: Melissa Wong, Adjunct Lecturer, Graduate School of Library and Information Science  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Course Requirements: Your participation will require approximately three to five hours per week (primarily asynchronous) to:

  • Read the online seminar material
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete online exercises
  • Complete a seminar evaluation form 

Live chat sessions will be scheduled throughout the course.

Registration fees:

ACRL member: $135
ALA member: $175
Nonmember: $195
Student: $60

How to Register:

Register with Credit Card

  • Scroll down to the month when the event is offered. Select the "Register" link next to the course on ALA's Distance Learning page (linked above).
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Register by PO

  • Download and complete the PO registration form.
  • Submit the form along with your actual PO to ALA registration (fax or mail; see form for details).
  • You will not be considered registered for the course until both your PO and the registration form have been received and processed by ALA registration.


Access instructions will be sent out one business day prior to the start of the course.

Member rates apply to personal memberships only. Want to join ACRL or ALA? Complete the online membership form, available on the ALA Web site. If you join ALA/ACRL within five days of registering, we will adjust your fee (please fax a copy of your completed registration form to ACRL at 312-280-2520 ).

Payment may be made by credit card or purchase order (PO) only. If paying by PO, the PO number is required at the time of registration. Class size is limited to 60 participants. Full refunds will be granted up to 14 days prior to the start of the seminar.

Questions should be directed to Margot Conahan at mconahan@ala.org.