Financial Planning for Academic Librarians: Perceptions versus Realities
Edward R. Johnson
In 1982 a questionnaire was sent to fifty-five directors of libraries at publicly-supported doctorate-granting universities. 1 Thirty-eight librarians responded. Of the 38 libraries represented, 31 were members of the Association of College and Research Libraries and seven were also members of the Association of Research Libraries. The average enrollment at the time of the 1982 study was similar to that of North Texas State University: 17,018 students. The responses to the questionnaire appear to be fairly representative of the problems and concerns of medium-sized academic libraries in the United States today.
Of particular interest to this paper on "perceptions versus hard realities" are the responses received in 1982 relating to budgeting and financial planning. Most of the respondents to the 1982 study predicted only moderate budget increases for their libraries during the next decade. Indeed, at best, many of them predicted relative stability; not decline, but not significant growth either. Fully two-thirds of the library directors surveyed concluded that the resources available to the library in the near future would not be sufficient to meet the teaching and research needs of their universities. This is an