Library Budget Definition : What is library budget?

Definition of Library budget:
A budget is a financial statement of the estimated revenues and expenditures of an institution for a definite period of time. It is not only a financial estimate of income and expenditures for a stated period but also in the words of Wilson and Tauber, it represents a logical, comprehensive and forward looking financial program for the coordination of the activities of the various financial divisions of the library or organization.
According to Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary- Budget is “a statement of the financial position of a sovereign load for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period and proposals for financing them.”
Generally speaking the library budget is a statement of the financial position of the library concerned for a definite period based on estimates of possible income and expenditure of the period concerned.
Procedure for the preparation of library budget:
There are three ways in which the library can prepare library budgetary estimates:
  1. By Comparison: In preparing of budget, the librarian should take into consideration last year’s expenditures, the appropriation for the current year, and the estimated expenditures for the next year. The proposed budget is based on the librarian’s judgment of the adequacy of budgets of the previous and current years.
  2. In accordance with work program: The librarian, in order to propose a budget based on the libraries need in terms of service to be offered and work to be accomplished, the objectives of an individual library should take into consideration. The librarian should be cognizant of any change in the library’s program of facilities, and services, etc. Budgeting estimates based upon the work program should cover fixed charges or service station charges, and unit-cost estimates.
  3. By using arbitrary standards: The progress of profession is usually marked by the accumulation of an increasing number of generally accepted practices. As these practices are commonly approved, they are recognized as norms of standards.
The budgetary procedure may be divided into following phases:

  • Review the current budget
  • Preparation
  • Submission and approval
  • Implementation
  1. Review: The librarian should review the current budget and find out an outline of procedure to be followed in preparing the new budget. Appropriate staff members should be advised to review their needs and plans for the current year in the light of present budget and submit a tentative new budget request to the librarian. The librarian then considerate and review these requests, taking the time beforehand to discuss them with the staff who are involved. 
  2. Preparation: During the early period of budget preparation the librarian should consult as widely as possible to determine major needs in acquisitions, new services, staffing, desirable hours of opening, needed furniture and equipment, etc. He should also take account of needs for salary increases, promotions, leaves of absence which may require the employment of substitutes, and building renovations or additions. When he has assembled all the information he requires about current operations and future needs he should draw up a tentative budget request. This detailed budget should be accompanied by a brief statement summarizing the principal items of current and estimated income and expenditure. 
  3. Final preparation/submission: After completing his consultation about the tentative budget, the librarian should make such revisions as appear necessary. The final budget can then be prepared for submission and approval. 
  4. Approval and Implementation: Considering the proposed budget, the authority may approve it. After approve the budget by the library authority then the budget can be implemented.
Tips for successful budget making for library:
 Some tips are follows for preparing a library budget more successful, are as;
  1. A general budget file should be maintained containing all the details.
  2. Each section can maintain their budget file. Necessary additions can be added to it and then recommendations are given and incorporated to the  main budget.
  3. It should be based on object classification.
  4. Section’s reports should be incorporated in a general budget form.
  5. Accounts assistant should carefully do the calculations.
  6. Probable income should be checked.
  7. The net amount should be struck down by bringing out the difference between the estimate expenditure and income.
  8. The budget estimates should be framed carefully.
  9. Ways and means should be suggested for procuring additional revenue to meet the deficit.


Sources of income of a library for preparing a new budget for University Library:
A. Govt. Funds: Generally govt. does not directly finance the library. Firstly the fund comes to its present organization. Then it may be used for library.
B. Fund from allocated by library authority.
C. Sales for library materials.

a. Photocopies,

b. Microfilm copies,

c. Old furniture’s,

d. Old books, magazines, etc.

D. Membership fees.
E. Fine for late returns books.
F. Endowment.
G. Donation.
H. Fund from well-wisher of the libraries.
I. Gifts from national or international organizations.
Heads of Expenditure for preparing a new budget for University Library:
1. Salaries of staff,
2. Purchase of books and subscription of journals,
3. Newspapers and periodicals cost,
4. Expenditure of library fitting and furniture,
5. Expenditure for technological adaptation:
  • Internet Bill
  • Fax Bill
  • Telephone Bill
  • Computer

6. Maintenance cost:

  • Book binding and repairing,
  • Maintenance of book mobile,
  • Other requisite.

7. Miscellaneous:

  • Training, travel,
  • Printing, stationary and electricity bill.

Prepared by:
       Dr. Md. Shariful Islam
       Associate Professor
       Dept. of Information Science & Library management.

Declaration: Articles shared in this blog are collected from different sources available on the internet to help students of Library and Information Science. Sources are mentioned in the reference section of the article. If you have any objections about the content of this blog, feel free to contact the site admin at

4 thoughts on “Library Budget Definition : What is library budget?

  1. Hai sir,
    Please help me with one of my assignments topic. I couldn’t find a correct answer for this question yet.
    Qn. What are the different types of budget in a library?

  2. plz help me prepare assignment Budgeting play a vital role in library management. Discusses various budgeting techniques based on evaluation of library resources and services?

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