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Library budgets pt3: how I keep my stuff straight

March 6, 2012
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?ex=2&qu=budget#ai:MP900387060|mt:2|

So this is really the last part.  Right around this time I have asked so many questions my head is spinning and I have a vague idea of what our patrons need.  I usually do a basic round-up of 5% to account for increases for databases and other subscription based services.  actually that was the easiest part for me, the hard part was trying to decide how to keep track of everything.

I use an extremely basic spreadsheet in Excel to keep track of what I have spent and that is what I present to our campus director for the budget process.  In all honesty the budget (outside of the logistics of the process the first time I did it) is not much of a challenge for us.  That is due in part because our school is in North Carolina and our state approval agency, NC Board of Governers specifically states that for we must spend 3% of the school’s operating budget in the library.  The other part is because I’m very blessed to work with individuals that believe in me and in the value I bring to the school through the library.

I try to finish my budget by april just because I don’t want to think about it anymore.  I always give plenty of cushion for professional development and subscription based electronic services in case something comes up I didn’t plan for which actually happens a lot.  Once all that is done I keep very close to our business office and get a line item list every month through the year for the previous months actual expenses.  and done!  🙂

Thanks so much for those who have talked about your budget process.  We have several schools outside of NC that can have a hard time getting budget info too and all I can say is keep the faith and don’t stop asking.  🙂

What other little tidbits of knowledge do you have about budget planning?  Keep sharing your stories!

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