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Texas State University

Calculation of Departmental Allocations for Library Materials by the University Libraries

This policy describes the process by which funds are allocated to academic departments for library materials.

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  • The appropriation for the Library is intended to develop a collection which supports the research and educational goals of university faculty, students, and staff. To implement this objective a substantial proportion of this appropriation is set aside to support the specific needs of academic departments. This allocation is called the "Departmental Appropriation."

    The Allocation Formula was developed to ensure that a fair proportion of each annual Departmental Appropriation is allocated to each academic department. It attempts to accomplish this objective by giving mathematical weights to those factors considered to be most directly correlated with adequacy of library materials.


    • The departmental allocation is an amount budgeted to purchase one-time resources to support a department's educational and research programs.
    • The base is an amount allocated to each department. The base is determined annually as part of budget planning. The rationale for including a base is to ensure that all departments, no matter how small, receive some funding for individually selected titles.
    • The formula amount is calculated from three elements: number of degree programs, number of majors, and faculty full-time equivalency (FTE). The rationale for including a formula amount is that departments with more programs, majors, and faculty typically need more resources than departments with fewer programs, majors, and faculty. Degree programs and majors are weighted because graduate programs typically require more specialized resources than undergraduate programs.
    • The allocation cap amount is the maximum amount allocated to each department at the beginning of the fiscal year. The cap is determined annually as part of budget planning. The rationale for the cap is to minimize extremely high allocations.
    • The allocation adjustment process is used to provide additional funding to support a department based on demonstrated need. The allocation cap does not apply to adjustments. Appendix A outlines the process.
    • During budget planning in the spring, the Head of Acquisitions will send the AVPUL recommendations for the total amount for departmental allocation, the base amount, and the allocation cap.
    • The AVPUL will inform the Head of Acquisitions of any modifications to the recommended amounts before or when the library budget is approved.
    • The information necessary to compute the allocations is gathered late August- early September. The calculation is done after the library's budget is approved.
      • The number of degree programs is based on the most recent Degree Program Inventory produced by Academic Affairs annually for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
      • The number of majors is obtained from the Office of Institutional Research. At the time of data collection, the number is available for fall semester of the previous fiscal year.
      • Faculty full-time equivalency (FTE) is obtained from the Office of Institutional Research. At the time of data collection, the number is available for the previous fiscal year.
    • By September 20, departmental allocations are announced to departments. The allocations represent the funds available for the purchase of new materials.
    • Due dates for allocation adjustment requests are late October and early March.
    • Target dates for department spending are mid-November, mid-March, and mid-June.
      • The subject librarian is responsible for selecting enough requests to spend one third of the working balance by each target date.
      • If not enough requests are submitted to meet target balances by target dates, the Collection Development Librarian or the Head Acquisitions Librarian may select additional titles relevant to the discipline.
    • If by June 30 Collection Development/ Acquisitions staff have exhausted options to spend the funds on items relevant to the subject area, Acquisitions retains the option to
      1. Spend the funds on related materials needed by other departments.
      2. Transfer the funds to general library fund to facilitate the purchasing of more expensive items benefiting all departments.
      3. Transfer the funds to demand­ driven fund to facilitate purchasing materials at the point of use.
    • Departments may request materials at any time during the year.
    • Subscription requests are only acted upon at renewal time.
    • Unfilled requests due to unavailability of funds are returned to the subject librarian in August for cancellation consideration. The librarian may consult with the department, as needed.
    • Amounts derived from the formula may be expended on library materials selected in accordance with Library Operating Letter 06.07 Collection Development Policy.
    • The following may not be purchased with departmental allocations: laboratory software and equipment:
      1. Materials to be housed permanently in locations other than University Libraries or Schneider Music Library.
      2. Expendable materials such as workbooks and forms.
      3. Electronic resources with unacceptable license restrictions, such as limiting access to only one specific individual.
      4. Resources requiring ongoing payments, such as journal subscriptions.