Published in The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, Vol. 23, issue 4 (2010) at 10.1108/08880451011104081


The purpose of this paper is to address the irrationality of making budget decisions without awareness of the economic foundation of these decisions. It aims to propose that, in lieu of a universal economic principle, librarians should at least adopt the maxim, “first, do no harm.”

The paper argues the need to review budgetary distribution models in terms of economic principles and the argument incorporates the author's recent implementation of material cuts at his institution. The paper argues that sound economic principles are being ignored in budget decision making. The paper finds that application of across-the-board materials cuts is inequitable and resembles a regressive flat-tax.