Budgeting and Finance

This course is designed to familiarize the participant with the basic principles of library financial administration, including budgeting and planning within the mission and goals of the organization. Upon completion of the course the student will understand and be able to construct program, line item and capital budgets, understand the methodology involved in cost/benefit analysis, be able to read and decipher library financial and auditing documents, and work with library accounting personnel. Topics include line item, program, and capital budgets, cost benefit analysis, capital projects, and fiduciary responsibilities of individuals and entities having responsibilities for financial administration in the library. The use of Microsoft Excel at a basic level is assumed and will be needed for several class assignments.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the relationship between budgeting and overall planning for the organization’s goals and objectives;

  2. Develop a program budget based on a line-item budget (convert a line-item budget to a program budget);

  3. Perform cost /benefit analysis for specific library services or programs;

  4. Develop performance measures and operations indicators for specific library functions;

  5. Identify and evaluate the feasibility of using various potential sources of funding for a major capital project;

  6. Present a program/service budget plans or a capital budget plan to the library’s governing authority or general government administrator; and

  7. Understand and monitor performance about investment of public funds.

Who Should Attend

Anyone responsible for or interested in learning about budgeting and finance for libraries.


The instructor, John Moorman, graduated from Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina with an AB degree and a major in Political Science (1969). He obtained the MS in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1972), and the Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2002).

John was the top library administrator of public libraries, a multi-type library system, and a regional library in North Carolina, Texas, Illinois, and Virginia from 1975-2013. Active in state library associations from 1975-2013. Served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Public Library Association. Is a past president of the Virginia Library Association. Served on ALA Council as the representative of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table 2009-2012. Served on the ALA Executive Board (2012-2015).

John has published articles on cataloging, ALA’s Code of Ethics, Standards for Public Libraries and a book on libraries for non-librarians. Edited and contributed chapters to the first and second editions of Running a Small Library: A How-To-Do-It Manual. The second edition was published by ALA Press in 2015. He has taught graduate library courses for the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign and Catholic University. Has been a library and non-profit organization consultant since 1983. In 2009 established Dominion Library Associates, LLC. This consulting firm provides assistance to libraries and non-profit organizations.



$350 for ALA members

$400 for non-ALA members

How to Register

Register now.

Visit the Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment's (HRDR) continuing education page

Tech Requirements

Reliable Internet connection; Java-enabled web browser; PDF Reader; IBM Compatible PC with at least 400 MB RAM with Windows XP/7 or above or Macintosh with OS8 or above; 128 MB RAM; sound card with speakers and/or earphones; color monitor with at least 800×600 resolution. 


For more information on this course, contact Pamela Akins, ALA Community Engagement Specialist, pakins@ala.org.