Budgeting & Finance

In addition to the skills acquired in obtaining an MLS, librarians also need administration and management skills. Running a library is about creating and managing budgets, setting policies for staff and patrons, providing customer service to your patrons, and communicating with local community leaders and government. ALA has a wide variety of resources for the library administrator. In addition to the online resources available in this section, ALA Editions has a wide range of  publications dedicated to library administration. In addition, ALA and APA offer the CPLA certification program for library administrators.

Librarians share a love of words, but sometimes the most important tasks involve crunching the numbers. The value of a library is measured less in dollars than in the services it provides to its patrons. To provide those services in the most cost-effective way, a librarian needs to understand finance and be comfortable working with budgets. Does it make more sense to cut staff hours or database subscriptions? Can facilities management services be outsourced efficiently or will it cost more in the long run? These are the types of questions that are best addressed through an exploration of the numbers. The resources in this section will help you explore several key concepts including fundraising, contract management, and budget preparation.