A guide to innovative revenue sources for libraries and nonprofits

For Immediate Release
Wed, 08/03/2016


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — In recent years, levies, grants, and other traditional sources of library funding have stagnated or even been scaled back. But as they’ve already done in other areas, libraries can take an innovative, proactive approach to funding. Change creates opportunities, and the ability to see and exploit opportunities is what creates new revenue streams, which can help maintain and enhance library services. Offering step-by-step guidance, Edmund A. Rossman III’s new book “40+ New Revenue Sources for Libraries and Nonprofits,” published by ALA Editions, shares dozens of revenue-generating methods to bolster the library’s bottom line. Through plentiful examples, interviews, and implementation exercises this book:

  • discusses the current context of funding for libraries and non-profits, using the history of Public Broadcasting as a positive role model for libraries;
  • examines how general market features from the worlds of advertising and broadcasting, such as location, traffic, the right cluster of skills, and technology, apply to the library environment ;
  • demonstrates how to utilize these market features in the most professional and efficient manner to build new revenue streams;
  • walks readers through numerous plans for raising revenue from memorial considerations, one-time events like art shows and athletic competitions, naming rights and sponsorships for permanent resources such as buildings and rooms, location specific promotions, online crowd-funding, establishing passport services, and many more;
  • provides guidelines of how to establish value, craft board policies, and write comprehensive contracts using a toolkit approach that will make the sales process more efficient; and
  • shows library boards and management how to address sensitive issues such as name changes, unforeseen bankruptcy or “disgraceful” situations with a sponsor, community concerns about “selling out,” and the use of technology for appeals.

Rossman has been involved with libraries and broadcasting since 1980. Currently he is an adult service librarian in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and is a member of and past chair of the Business Reference in Public Libraries committee of BRASS. Also the author of “Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments,” he has taught courses on the internet and mass media for the Kent State School of Journalism, and is currently teaching online courses on Business Writing for libraries at Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science. As a business manager of radio stations in two major markets, he coordinated dozens of sponsorship campaigns, as well as produced over 200 hours of sponsored specialty programming.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.