Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians

Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians

Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians

Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians

Synopsis

Any competent librarian can have good accounting skills--after all, attention to detail, correct classification, and effective documentation are essential to both kinds of tasks. This book covers accounting concepts, budgeting, and government regulations that pertain to libraries.

Excerpt

Not every librarian is an accountant (or needs a full degree in accountancy), but many are responsible for making purchasing decisions, negotiating license agreements, and navigating through a maze of financial decisions. These decisions are sometimes unique to the library world— for example, licensing scholarly eBooks and eJournals or rare manuscripts that can only be obtained from a single source—and sometimes basic to any business accounting situation. Rather than librarians having to try to pick out relevant bits from an accountancy course or just learning it all on the job, librarian (and accountant) Rachel Kirk has provided them with succinct and relevant accounting basics and advice compiled in one volume.

Whether you are employed in a corporate or government library, or you work in an academic, public, or other nonprofit library, Balancing the Books: Accounting for Librarians has a section for you. It is both library-type specific (containing sections on differences in general accounting practices for different types of libraries) and general (covering basic accounting skills needed in any type of library).

Rachel Kirk was an accountant before she became a librarian, and she is clearly glad she made the switch to librarianship. Yet she is able to bring her accounting experience into librarianship in a way that is detailed, focused, and of immense use to librarians. the accounting information presented here is practical and applies to the day-to-day challenges facing acquisitions librarians. There is some theory (“The Philosophy of Accounting”), but this is ultimately a practical book, written by an experienced librarian to help her librarian colleagues.

Will Balancing the Books make you want to become an accountant, rather than or in addition to being a librarian? No, but it will help you appreciate both professions. It will also help you understand how you can become a better acquisitions or managing librarian by understanding . . .

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