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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

This book is available in e-book format for libraries and individuals through aggregators and other distributors—ask your current vendor or contact us for more information. Examination copies are available for instructors who are interested in adopting this title for course use.

Presenting financial management principles and best practices applicable to both public and academic libraries, this comprehensive text elucidates a broad array of issues crucial for those entering a managerial position. Both thorough and straightforward, Sannwald's treatment

  • gives readers a solid grounding in the basics of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on applicability to library management and operations;
  • ties budgets and strategic planning to library vision, mission, goals, and objectives;
  • discusses the roles of stakeholders such as boards, governmental/municipal bodies, the university, and the community;
  • looks at a variety of funding sources, from tax revenue to gifts and donations, and presents sound strategies for including them when projecting income and expenses;
  • articulates and discusses the pros and cons of various budget strategies;
  • includes sample budgets and forms that can be customized as needed;
  • offers expert guidance on modifying budgets for windfalls and shortfalls;
  • explains operating ratios, fiscal benchmarking, and metrics, demonstrating how to use these to effectively create and manage a budget and assess the fiscal health of the library; and
  • advises on how to effectively prepare and present a budget and annual financial statements to a library's governing agency.

Ideal for course use, this book will also serve as a ready reference for practitioners.

List of Illustrations

1    Introduction to Budgeting and Strategic Planning
Learning Objectives
What Is a Budget?
Budgeting and the Library’s Strategic Planning Process
Types of Budgets That May Be Used in Libraries
Budgetary Approaches
Budgetary Tools
Financing Libraries
Budgetary Controls
Cash Flow, Forecasting, and Tools for Determining the Size of the Budget
Budget Planning Team and Budget Preparation Process
Budget Presentation

2    Accounting Concepts
Learning Objectives
Accounting History
Financial and Managerial Accounting
Basic Accounting Equation
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
The Auditing Process
Cash-Basis and Accrual-Basis Accounting
The Balance Sheet
The Income Statement
The Statement of Cash Flows
Chart of Accounts
Accounting Cycle

3    Library Budget Development Process and Participants
Learning Objectives
Budget Calendar
Budget Process Questions
Budgetary Checklist
How Is the Dollar Amount of the Library’s Budget Determined?


  • San Diego State University
  • Chula Vista Public Library
  • Schaumburg Township District Library

Budget Development Team Participants



  • San Diego State University
  • Chula Vista Public Library
  • Schaumburg Township District Library


4    Library Performance Measures and Operating Ratios
Learning Objectives
Standards, Inputs, Outputs, Processes, Satisfaction, and Outcomes



  • Standards
  • Inputs and Outputs
  • Processes and Satisfaction
  • Outcomes




  • Steps in the Benchmarking Process
  • Criteria for Selecting a Benchmarking Set

Data Sources



  • ACRLMetrics
  • Public Library Data Services
  • Edge
  • State and Local Resources
  • Operating and Financial Ratios

Programmatic Needs
What Can We Afford?

5    Budgeting and Forecasting
Learning Objectives
Types of Budgets



  • Master Budget
  • Operating Budget
  • Financial Budgets
  • Capital Budgets
  • Other Budgets
  • Budget Build Up

Budgeting Techniques or Formats



  • Line-Item Budgets
  • Program Budgets
  • Performance Budgets
  • Zero-Based Budgets


6    Revenue Sources 
Learning Objectives
Tax-Supported Academic Libraries
Privately-Supported Academic Libraries
Tax-Supported Public Libraries



  • District Libraries

Fines and Fees



  • Ongoing Support
  • Capital Campaigns
  • College and Research Library Philanthropy
  • Public Library Philanthropy
  • Local Public Library Philanthropy

Foundations and Grants
Other Revenue Opportunities

7    Capital Budgets
Learning Objectives
Capital Budgeting
Capital Budgeting Decisions
Capital Budgeting in the Profit and Nonprofit Sectors



  • Net Present Value
  • Internal Rate of Return
  • Net Present Cost
  • Annualized Cost

Estimating Capital Needs
Financing Capital Projects



  • Bond Issues
  • Funding from the Parent Institution    
  • Foundation Grants
  • Developer Fees

Estimating Capital Budgets for Library Buildings
Case Study—New Library Branch for San Diego State University



  • What Factors Drive the Need for a New Library Building?
  • Who Will Be Served?


8    Approval and Control
Learning Objectives
Budget Submittal, Approval, and Communication



  • Budget Submittal
  • Budget Communication
  • Budget Approval




  • Financial Control Process
  • Financial Dashboards
  • Modifying Budgets
  • Financial Condition Analysis
  • Financial Audits
  • Deviant Financial Behavior and Fraud
    • Inappropriate Absenteeism or Tardiness
    • Theft of Organizational Assets or Property
    • Destruction of Organization Assets or Property


9    Budgetary Categories, Comparisons, Forms, and the Balanced Scorecard
Learning Objectives
Budgetary Categories
Budget Comparisons



  • Historical Comparisons
  • Future Estimates
    • Forecasting
    • Scenario Analysis
  • Budgetary Systems
    • Payroll System
    • Purchasing System
  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Financial and Budgetary Forms
    • Uniform Chart of Accounts
    • Balance Sheet
    • Income Statement
    • Statement of Cash Flows:
    • Annual Operating Budget
    • Department Build-up Budget
    • Program Budget
    • Capital Budget
    • Modifying Budgets for Windfalls and Downturns




William W. Sannwald

William W. Sannwald is a full-time faculty member in the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University and works as a library building and administrative consultant. He was an assistant to San Diego’s city manager and was the city’s manager of library design and development from 1997 to 2004. Prior to that, he was city librarian of the San Diego Public Library. He has worked in public libraries in Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, and California. Sannwald received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Beloit College in Wisconsin, an MBA degree from Loyola University in Chicago, and an MALS degree from Dominican University in Illinois. He has presented papers at national and international conferences and is the author of a number of books and articles on library architecture and management. The San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects presented him with their highest award, the Irving Gill Award, for his contributions to library architecture, and he received the San Diego design community’s Ruocco Award for his contributions to urban architecture. During his career, Sannwald has been involved in the construction of more than fifty library buildings as either a consultant or owner’s representative in the United States, Great Britain, Angola, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates. He was elected to the International Federation of Library Systems’ Standing Committee for Library Buildings and Equipment for 2007–2011. 

Sannwald teaches a variety of upper division undergraduate and MBA courses in the management department at San Diego State University’s Fowler School of Business. He was selected as the most influential management professor and received the Outstanding Faculty Award in the Business School. In 2017 he received the Teaching Excellence Award from his peers. In 2022, he was selected as the first Glazer Outstanding Lecturer Fellow, which includes a generous stipend funded through private gifts.

"Recommended as an introduction to financial management for established library professionals and students. Librarians that do not directly handle budgets benefit from understanding the complexity of the process for a greater appreciation of budgetary decisions.”

"An especially detailed and practical book about managing library finances.”
— Technicalities

"This is an excellent book for those new to putting these principles into action, those who wish a good overview on financial management or those who want practical and useful examples to deal with their own needs.”
— Journal of Hospital Librarianship

"This book excels in featuring a large amount of information about library budgets with real-world examples and a layout that is easy to follow.”
— Library Quarterly