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LC FEES IN THE FUTURE

LC FEES IN THE FUTURE EDITORIAL The Library of Congress has a bill sense in a time of national financial we would question whether a Li­ belt tightening. And certainly LC brary of Congress that proves it can in motion that could result in fees operate on entrepreneurial precepts for service. While at this early date cannot ignore the General Account­ it is not possible to know the full ing Office's warnings that it is migh t be perceived by a belea­ stretching the limits financially to guered Congress fighting its own ramifications of the Library of Con­ keep afloat each year. budget battles as needing less rather gress Fee Services Legislation, it is more than disquieting to find the But the proposal which LC has than more. brought forward goes far beyond But most important, the proposal closest approximation to a national ignores a basic tenet of library ser­ library our country's citizens pos­ what is necessary to update tired sess proposing an act that disregards legislation and operate within the vice: charging fees and levies for in­ bounds of fiscal responsibility. Re­ formation services, including those the basic tenets of free access to utilizing the latest information tech­ information. gardless of what was intended, the legislation presented to the library nology, is discriminatory and not ap­ Through a number of public state­ community is awash in conflicts and propriat e in publicly supported ments, the Librarian of Congress has institutions providing library and in­ open to many interpretations. announced that mis legislation should formation services. be understood as providing a mod­ There is the implication that while ern fiscal structure for current serv­ traditional services will remain free ALA has made that position clear of charges, new services are open in its policy statements. You can be ices, along with authority to continue to offer services to specialized au­ game. What LC contends is new, sure that as the Association holds its diences, and not as a vehicle to be­ however, gives cause for alarm. Da­ Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, leg­ tabase products and services; docu­ islative leaders like Nancy Kranich gin assessing fees for basic library activities. But w e are having trouble ment location, copying, and delivery and Barbara Markuson will be lob­ with that disclaimer. services; training in preservation bying fellow Councilors to take ac­ methods and library services; cen­ tion that reaffirms the role of the We have no quarrel with the Li­ tralized acquisition activities for fed­ highes t national information re­ brary of Congress wanting to update eral libraries and information centers; source in the land, the Library of the 1902 law that regulates the ac­ data searches; foreign language ab­ Congress , in maintaining demo­ tivities of the Cataloging Distribu­ stracts and translations; bibliogra­ cratic policies. tion Service. Obviously, legislation phies, research reports, analytical that focuses on cards as a primary Politically, it is important for LC studies; and other customized re­ means of sharing catalog data is ob­ to remember that one of the groups ports addressing the specific needs solete by anyone's standards. We most helpful in its recent fight for an of state and local governments, in­ concur that it is time for the law to increased appropriation was ALA, and dustries, businesses, the legal and adequately represent the products with that help the library was suc­ other professions are supplied as and services now available from LC cessful in commanding a 12 percent examples. that were not anticipated in the increase in a year of cutbacks and original legislation. reductions. This is not the time for If the logic is to gain funds from specialized services which are part LC t o incur the wrath of the nation's Bringing LC's fiscal operations into librarians. the twentieth century is equally ad­ of a profit-making cycle, such as le­ gal information where the costs are mirable. It is appropriate to have a Fortunately, the Librarian of Con­ charged back to clients, is such a mechanism in place, the proposed gress has not specified a date to seek sweeping definition really needed? Library of Congress Revolving Fund, the introduction of the fee service Cos t recovery is denoted as which would allow LC to keep funds legislation to Congress. He has shown gained from lost books and materials charging fees for products and serv­ interest in addressing reservations and to maintain balances in ac­ ices so that they are completely self- and concerns raised by librarians. It's counts to ensure smoother opera­ sustaining o r self-liquidating. That sets time to make certain that he hears tions from year-to-year. Now LC must a new path — full cost recovery. To those concerns loud and clear. estimate the amount of money it will date LC charges have only supple­ accrue from services like MARC tapes mented the cost of services. In ad­ and send that estimate along to Con­ dition, indirect costs are defined so gress, which allows the Library to as to build in increases. They are retain only the amount specified. If based on a percentage computed and recalculated when there is signifi­ it's a good year and LC underesti­ mates, it cannot keep the fruits of its cant change in the library's costs or good fortune. For the Librarian of at least every three years. Congress to have the authority to in­ It is understandable that after re­ vest and reinvest in public debt se­ ceiving major cuts in funding in the curities any available portion of the recent past, LC would look for ways Fund and to use the earnings makes to stabilize its financial future. Still, Volume 4, Number 4 THE BOTTOM LINE 3 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances Emerald Publishing

LC FEES IN THE FUTURE

The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances , Volume 4 (4): 1 – Apr 1, 1991

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0888-045X
DOI
10.1108/eb025300
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

EDITORIAL The Library of Congress has a bill sense in a time of national financial we would question whether a Li­ belt tightening. And certainly LC brary of Congress that proves it can in motion that could result in fees operate on entrepreneurial precepts for service. While at this early date cannot ignore the General Account­ it is not possible to know the full ing Office's warnings that it is migh t be perceived by a belea­ stretching the limits financially to guered Congress fighting its own ramifications of the Library of Con­ keep afloat each year. budget battles as needing less rather gress Fee Services Legislation, it is more than disquieting to find the But the proposal which LC has than more. brought forward goes far beyond But most important, the proposal closest approximation to a national ignores a basic tenet of library ser­ library our country's citizens pos­ what is necessary to update tired sess proposing an act that disregards legislation and operate within the vice: charging fees and levies for in­ bounds of fiscal responsibility. Re­ formation services, including those the basic tenets of free access to utilizing the latest information tech­ information. gardless of what was intended, the legislation presented to the library nology, is discriminatory and not ap­ Through a number of public state­ community is awash in conflicts and propriat e in publicly supported ments, the Librarian of Congress has institutions providing library and in­ open to many interpretations. announced that mis legislation should formation services. be understood as providing a mod­ There is the implication that while ern fiscal structure for current serv­ traditional services will remain free ALA has made that position clear of charges, new services are open in its policy statements. You can be ices, along with authority to continue to offer services to specialized au­ game. What LC contends is new, sure that as the Association holds its diences, and not as a vehicle to be­ however, gives cause for alarm. Da­ Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, leg­ tabase products and services; docu­ islative leaders like Nancy Kranich gin assessing fees for basic library activities. But w e are having trouble ment location, copying, and delivery and Barbara Markuson will be lob­ with that disclaimer. services; training in preservation bying fellow Councilors to take ac­ methods and library services; cen­ tion that reaffirms the role of the We have no quarrel with the Li­ tralized acquisition activities for fed­ highes t national information re­ brary of Congress wanting to update eral libraries and information centers; source in the land, the Library of the 1902 law that regulates the ac­ data searches; foreign language ab­ Congress , in maintaining demo­ tivities of the Cataloging Distribu­ stracts and translations; bibliogra­ cratic policies. tion Service. Obviously, legislation phies, research reports, analytical that focuses on cards as a primary Politically, it is important for LC studies; and other customized re­ means of sharing catalog data is ob­ to remember that one of the groups ports addressing the specific needs solete by anyone's standards. We most helpful in its recent fight for an of state and local governments, in­ concur that it is time for the law to increased appropriation was ALA, and dustries, businesses, the legal and adequately represent the products with that help the library was suc­ other professions are supplied as and services now available from LC cessful in commanding a 12 percent examples. that were not anticipated in the increase in a year of cutbacks and original legislation. reductions. This is not the time for If the logic is to gain funds from specialized services which are part LC t o incur the wrath of the nation's Bringing LC's fiscal operations into librarians. the twentieth century is equally ad­ of a profit-making cycle, such as le­ gal information where the costs are mirable. It is appropriate to have a Fortunately, the Librarian of Con­ charged back to clients, is such a mechanism in place, the proposed gress has not specified a date to seek sweeping definition really needed? Library of Congress Revolving Fund, the introduction of the fee service Cos t recovery is denoted as which would allow LC to keep funds legislation to Congress. He has shown gained from lost books and materials charging fees for products and serv­ interest in addressing reservations and to maintain balances in ac­ ices so that they are completely self- and concerns raised by librarians. It's counts to ensure smoother opera­ sustaining o r self-liquidating. That sets time to make certain that he hears tions from year-to-year. Now LC must a new path — full cost recovery. To those concerns loud and clear. estimate the amount of money it will date LC charges have only supple­ accrue from services like MARC tapes mented the cost of services. In ad­ and send that estimate along to Con­ dition, indirect costs are defined so gress, which allows the Library to as to build in increases. They are retain only the amount specified. If based on a percentage computed and recalculated when there is signifi­ it's a good year and LC underesti­ mates, it cannot keep the fruits of its cant change in the library's costs or good fortune. For the Librarian of at least every three years. Congress to have the authority to in­ It is understandable that after re­ vest and reinvest in public debt se­ ceiving major cuts in funding in the curities any available portion of the recent past, LC would look for ways Fund and to use the earnings makes to stabilize its financial future. Still, Volume 4, Number 4 THE BOTTOM LINE 3

Journal

The Bottom Line: Managing Library FinancesEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 1, 1991

There are no references for this article.