Budget & Finances

Competition for public money within any given community makes it important for library CEOs to not only be ethical and responsible stewards of library finances, but also active communicators about the value and impact of library services.  

Due to variances in funding sources and practices, which are developed locally, these competencies are more general than specific.  

Last updated: July 24, 2014

Competency: Understands and employs basic budget and finance concepts and terminology

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Understands and utilizes established accounting practices and procedures
  • Understands and applies municipal, provincial and federal financial laws, regulations, policies and procedures 
  • Liaises with municipal staff as required when preparing for and developing the library budget and in acquiring and understanding monthly/quarterly financial statements
  • Develops, presents and defends the library budget in conjunction with the library board
  • Monitors budget variances, reports them and takes necessary measures to minimize their impact on the overall budget  
  • Works with the library board to develop board members’ understanding of the library finances, including the budget process and regular tracking of expenses in relation to the budget. 


Competency: Establishes strategic financial management processes, using sound business and financial judgment

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Monitors economic trends and other fiscal issues for potential impact on the library
  • Aligns the budget with the library’s strategic plan
  • Conducts short-, medium- and long-range fiscal planning
  • Conducts financial analysis to identify costs, risks and alternatives, including cost-reduction and value enhancements
  • Monitors the progress of contracts for library materials and services
  • Promotes and justifies the library’s needs to funding authorities
  • Assesses needs and develops plans for capital improvement projects, involving municipal staff as appropriate.


Competency:  Pursues multiple sources of funding 

  • Identifies sources for grant funding and writes compelling proposals/applications that supports the library's strategic directions
  • Develops policies, in conjunction with the library board, that clarify the board's position and approach with regards to grants, sponsorships, fundraising and revenue generation
  • Assesses revenue generating trends and practices of other public libraries and adopts those deemed appropriate and aligned with the library's mission, vision, and strategic directions
  • Ensures resources are in place to support the funding development activities endorsed by the board.  


Competency:  Manages the budget of a service, department or project

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Understands and adheres to the library’s procedures for financial tracking
  • Monitors expenses against budget and can account for variances
  • Adjusts expenses as needed to stay within budget
  • Predicts expenses for the coming year based on a good understanding of the library’s financial situation, changes in services or operations and new demands for service.

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