ALCTS Financial News

Katherine L. Walter, Chair, ALCTS Budget and Finance Committee

The ALCTS budget for 2003/04 is regrettably the third deficit budget in three consecutive years. By August 2004, the ALCTS reserve fund will be reduced to half its size, and will be adequate to cover no more than four months of operating costs. At the ALA Annual Conference in June 2004, the ALCTS Budget and Finance Committee recommended several steps to the ALCTS Board of Directors to address the significant budgetary concerns that have been outlined in past issues of the Newsletter. Among concerns noted were rising labor costs, a recent history of poor continuing education program revenues, and rising publications costs. Membership revenue is at about 4.5% under budget. Library Resources & Technical Services (LRTS) production costs have been running $15,000-$18,000 more per year than budgeted.

Two immediate steps were approved by the ALCTS Board of Directors. There will be a membership dues increase, and a subscription increase for non-ALCTS members. Dues and LRTS subscription fees for non-members had not been raised since 1994-despite higher labor, postage, and printing costs. Beginning in September, membership dues will be $55 for individuals and $65 for institutional members. LRTS will continue to be provided free to members, but non-member subscription rates for both individuals and institutions will rise.

In addition, general policy recommendations were unanimously accepted by the Board. New initiative monies and international travel funds, for example, will be available only in years when the budget is positive. Finally, ALCTS board approved a motion that the Membership, Budget and Finance, and Publications Committees devise a system of determining regular increases in membership dues and LRTS subscription prices. The committees are directed to look at the Consumer Price Index and other public documentation in developing the system.

Additional information concerning the 2004/05 budget will be in upcoming issues of the ALCTS Newsletter Online.

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