As was stated above, in order to assure that funding is available for new acquisitions throughout the year, budgeted amounts may be divided into amounts that are available for each month. Perhaps the easiest way to do this is simply to divide the total (after standing orders, subscriptions, and scheduled replacements have been subtracted) by 12 (the number of months). Thus, if the materials budget for adult materials is $13,000, and standing orders and subscriptions are $1,000, this would give the librarian about $12,000 to spend for the year. Dividing this number by 12 gives about $1,000 to spend each month.
However, publishers do not release the same amount of materials every month. More books are published in the spring and fall than in the winter and summer. The spring releases are meant to attract vacation readers and the fall releases are for the holidays. Normally this may mean that the librarian will want to use more money in the spring and fall months. The best way to determine how much to allocate for different months is to do a cash flow analysis that shows the percentage of spending in previous years for each month. These percentages can then be applied to the annual amount for materials for this year.
For example, lets say that in the past the library above spent about 15% of its material budget in April and about 4% in July. By applying these percentages to the amount they have to spend this year, the librarian could assume that she should spend about $1800 in April (.15 X $12,000) and about $480 in July (.04 X $12,000).
Although librarians may not be able to purchase everything they wish each month, it is wise for them to keep lists of materials on the second tier. At given times throughout the year, if they are behind on their spending, they can return to these lists to pick up materials that they wanted but could not afford at the time they became aware of them.
Whatever method is used, librarians involved in materials selection must keep track of their budget in order to insure a smooth flow of acquisitions throughout the year, while at the same time not overspending their budget.
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