Budget Cut Assignment

The first assignment for my Library Finance class was a budget cut.  Well, actually it was two budget cuts.  I had to cut 5% and 10% off of a sample budget, and then write a memo to the City Council explaining how these cuts will affect the library and its constituents.

I have to say that this was one of the most difficult assignments I’ve had to do since I started Library School. 

The budget initally appeared to be quite healthy, although I felt it was a bit heavy on the personnel side.  Then I looked closer and found that they were overbudget on contracts, advertising, supplies, books/periodicals, and even on the storm drain.  They were close to budget in other areas too.  Since the areas I would normally cut first were over/close to budget, I really had to look at where to cut as far as personnel.

The teacher gave us a cheat sheet for the vague terms on the budget.  For instance “Professional Services” really means temporary employees hired through an agency.  “Contractual Services” means membership in an ILS service. 

No matter which way I turned, it seemed like I would be forced to cut personnel.  Even though this was a fake situation, I still felt really sad and sick to make such a decision.  I mean, cutting the professional services is one thing – I have no reason to be loyal to temporary employees.  But laying off full-time employees or reducing the hours of hourly employees is another thing entirely.  I could just imagine having to do that to the people I work with now.  I don’t want to ever make that decision in the real world.

Oh well, let’s hope I made the decisions the teacher wanted me to make.  And let’s hope that my memo was written well enough for the teacher as well.

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1 Comment

  1. ewww

    no fun, but reality I guess


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