Posted by: bluesyemre | July 15, 2013

Library Budget Predictions for 2013 by PCG

  • The global economic outlook at the start of 2012 was relatively positive. Improving market sentiment, combined with “quantitative easing” in developing countries, meant a rebound in economic activity in both developing and advanced countries. However, since May, progress has faltered. Austerity measures in EU countries have negatively impacted growth in the European economy, which in turn has impacted the global economy. America’s recovery remains slow, whilst even strongly performing Asia-Pacific emerging countries such as China have seen a slowdown in their growth (their GDP growth slowed in Q2). The global economic outlook is important because GDP growth impacts the amount of funds available in institutional budgets, which in turn impinges on library budgets. Therefore, it is not surprising that the results of this year’s library budget survey show small growth predictions.The overall library budget is predicted to increase in 2013 by 0.8% and the materials budget by 0.7%. However, as these rates are lower than the inflation rate in most countries, many libraries will be pressed maintaining existing services. The pressure is greatest on the serials budget, which shows the lowest percentage increase at just 0.3%. Librarians continue to juggle their subscriptions to gain best value. An examination of library data for North American institutes (ARL) shows that average serial cost continues to decline. The cost to the library of a serial in 2011 ($139) is very similar to the cost paid in 1990 ($138). There is slightly more optimism in the forecasts when librarians look further forward. From 2013 to 2016 librarians, estimate that year on year the materials budget will increase by 2%. Looking at the regional breakdown, there are some distinct differences in predicted budgets for 2013. South America’s prediction of decrease shows a worsening position after last year’s relatively static picture. Brazil, the world’s sixth biggest economy, has been hardest hit by the overseas downturn and is expected to grow more slowly than other regional economies1. Asia Pacific continues to have the most optimistic predictions. The picture in North America improves on last year with growth, albeit very modest, for all areas except books. Europe continues to decline across all budget lines.

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