Crash Course in Library Budgeting and Finance
by Glen E. Holt and Leslie Edmonds Holt
August 2016, 207pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-3474-5
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3475-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Librarians and information specialists need a clear and complete view of library finance—from budgeting and spending to reporting in compliance with accounting standards and local, state, and federal laws. This accessible guide is a must-have resource.

Concise, informative, and well-indexed, this book helps readers get the "big picture" as well as the considerable number of details involved in managing the finances for a library.

For all libraries, money is critical to decision-making about technology, staffing, and collections. As a result, informed budgeting is critically important for any library to succeed. This book explains library finance in a practical, engaging way, using examples of real situations in different types of libraries to teach key points. Written by authors with years of experience in budgeting and financial planning within a variety of library settings and in teaching library management or fundraising at the university level, Crash Course in Library Budgeting and Finance makes it painless to learn how to properly manage money in any library environment.

The book addresses the entire process of financial planning, from a general, conceptual overview of library budgeting to the details of generating and spending income, and describes best practices for implementing financial controls. Subjects covered include building construction and capital projects, fund raising, capital campaigns, moving to fee-based services, extending and developing earned income, financial best practices, and assessment and evaluation. The authors also make recommendations regarding when and how to share relevant financial information throughout the organization and with constituents throughout the book.


  • Provides completely updated information through engaging, clear explanations of details on licensing, contracts, and maintaining technology and electronic resources
  • Supplies helpful guidance for all levels of library staff—not just upper management
  • Offers numerous real-world budgeting and finance examples from practicing librarians
  • Presents information relevant to library administrators in all types of libraries, staff who work with budgets, library finance and budget officers, library board or governance officers, and library foundation managers and grant writers
Glen E. Holt, PhD, consults as a policymaking and planning consultant for historical societies, foundations, libraries, museums, and private-sector companies. He was the director of St. Louis Public Library for 17 years. Before that, Holt directed the honors program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota and taught history and urban studies and chaired the urban studies program at Washington University in St. Louis. His published work includes Measuring Your Library's Value: How to Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis for Your Public Library; Library Success: A Celebration of Library Innovation, Adaptation and Problem Solving; Success with Library Volunteers; and Public Library Services to the Poor: Doing All We Can. Holt was named a winner of PLA's Charlie Robinson Award (2001) for his innovation and risk taking while SLPL's director. He has published research on establishing and managing library partnerships, libraries as public technology training centers, and public library self service. Holt received his bachelor's degree from Baker University and his master's degree and doctorate from The University of Chicago.

Leslie Edmonds Holt, PhD, is president and CEO of Holt Consulting. She is associate editor of the Public Library Quarterly and serves on the advisory committee for the MLIS program of the Informational School at the University of Washington. Holt has 25 years of experience working in public libraries, including a decade-long term as budget officer and director of Youth Services and Community Relations at the St. Louis Public Library. She has taught at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, served as president of ALSC, and received an ALA Baber Award to research how children use online catalogs. Her published work includes several coauthored books and numerous articles on outcome measurements for youth services, library computer services for children, literacy, and planning. Holt received her Master of Library Science from The University of Chicago and her doctorate from Loyola University.


"This title is very broad in scope and will be an excellent resource for neophytes on rigorous accounting and finance issues. It will be most useful as a resource for smaller libraries where library staff are called on to deal with the nitty-gritty details. This will also be useful to librarians looking to prepare themselves for management and director positions."—VOYA, April 4, 2017
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