Twenty Years after Clapp-
Jordan: A Review of Academic
Library Funding Formulas
Daniel W. Lester
Academic library administrators have used a variety of formulas to assess the adequacy of their libraries since the 1920s or earlier. The Carnegie Commission developed a formula in 1928 and the American Library Association followed with its own formula in 1930. These formulas inspired some interest, but perhaps owing to the overwhelming financial problems of the depression and war that followed, there was little serious formula development for several decades to come. The first formulas to become of major importance to academic libraries were the ones included in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) standards of 1959. 1 These standards first suggested two major formula funding concepts that are still widely used today: a percentage of the college's educational and general budget that should be allocated to the library and a minimal collection size for the library that was determined by an opening collection plus a component determined by enrollment.
The Clapp-Jordan formula was first published in 19642 and more widely disseminated in 1965. 3 This formula expanded on the concepts presented in the 1959 ACRL standards for collection size by adding components for the number and level of degree programs offered by the college or university. This new component has been used by a wide variety of formulas since