Book Budget Allocation

How do community college libraries allocate their collection development budgets among various departments?  I was curious about how other librarians handles this–the following is a brief breakdown of their responses I got from the CJCLS listserv some time back:

Community College Collection Development—Departmental Budget Allocations

3 main methods of dividing funds

Play it by ear:
-get requests from faculty, purchase requests unless they’re exorbitant or not useful
-keep track of library-heavy assignments, develop collection around those
-also make purchases for departments that have fewer requests

Rotating allocation schedule – concentrate on several different programs each budget year, then rotate to another set of programs

Allocating budget on criteria such as enrollment, cost of books for subject, etc.

Some other points that came up:

– Librarians divided over whether to let faculty know what they’re spending or not. Most librarians who responded do not like to give faculty dollar amounts.

– Keep in mind programs that are independently accredited—what they need

– Keep in mind new programs and programs that are currently in development

– Don’t leave any program out of the budget loop completely, even if that program doesn’t utilize library resources very often

– Watch out for the occasional instructor who wants to buy expensive or inappropriate materials for his/her own research interests, not really for the curriculum

How do you allocate your budget? What things do you consider? Are you having to change your standard budget allocation practices due to the current economic climate?

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