With a new political climate in our country, and an economy that still hasn’t fully recovered from the crash in 2008, it’s safe to say that many of you building budgets will hear the phrase “based on a level fund scenario” (or something to that effect) when you are beginning your budget seasons. If you are new to budgeting, it’s important to realize what the folks saying this to you realize already that a “balanced budget” is really a cut.
Posts Tagged ‘budget planning’
It unfortunately is an old story that we have all heard before. Public libraries in Connecticut are faced with budget cuts. The question for them now becomes, “What do we do?” The goal is to provide the same level of service to your patrons in the community, but how do you do that without the same amount of resources? Libraries need to look at the bigger picture when this happens. The answer can’t just be, “We will lay someone off until we get more money.” It really won’t fix the situation, and may actually provide library directors with the idea that the library can survive with less staff, which may lead to eliminating the position altogether.
My library’s induction into a health insurance pool came about after I attended a Village Board meeting and learned that their health insurance costs had gone down 8%. This was the same year that the library’s costs had increased approximately 13% for the second year in a row. After my brain stopped exploding and the meeting was over, I talked with the Village Finance Manager and learned that they had joined a health insurance pool almost a decade earlier. This move occurred after they experienced the strategies health insurance companies use in setting premiums. It is particularly frustrating for organizations that employ less than 50 full-time equivalent staff.
The Internet is a necessity for not just checking email or research, but also for applying for jobs, learning new technological skills, and gaining confidence. If a person is unable to have broadband access at home, it is all the more imperative that their local library have sufficient access to not only bridge the gap in the digital divide, but also in digital literacy.
If you’ve never written a proposal, be prepared, you’ll probably be tasked with writing one at some point in your career. And if you’re able to skirt by the next 30 years without writing one, you’re probably doing something wrong.
To be honest, insurance was not something I really thought much about. Of course I held personal insurance (home, auto, etc.), but for the library? I recognized the importance of the library having a basic liability policy.
Library budgeting has never been an easy task. New approaches, like priority-based and outcome-based budgeting, could help align a library budget with its services and dollars received.