Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Managing the consumable collection

Listening to the sirens call, as well as the library director and acquisitions librarian’s request, I am taking time today to work on my remaining resource center budget, specifically the necessary consumable supplies that are a significant part of my spending.

I start each year with a twelve line resource center budget (separate from the library budget); two lines are in place for running the center (phone and postage), ten lines are targeted to the resource center, and one of the ten lines accepts deposits allowing me to run our little store. I mention this because my spending today already totals $500 in laminating film (desk-top and roll-top) and upwards of $300 in basic office supplies (scissors, construction paper, transparencies, etc.). It is a challenge to manage budget lines specifically expended on consumable products, don't get me stared on printer parts and paper (we have free printing on campus). I am lucky that once the initial funds within one supply line are spent, it is possible to be self-sufficient by depositing funds garnered by charging for supplies back into the account. I do not make a profit from laminating and such, but use the funds to my more film.

Within the last few years I have not had to make a decision between copy paper and juvenile books, but budget cuts once or twice have necessitated that decision. I was most unhappy, and sadly pragmatic, to realize I could make a list of things to buy with the next budget year's funding, but had to have toner and copy paper. As I browse through the campus bookstore office supply catalog, I am pleased to note funds also remain for collection items in the form of my February Booklist, Follett half-price textbooks, and maybe a few more activity books!

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