Thursday, 19 April 2007

CPD25 event - Financial planning 18th April 2007

I enjoyed this session but found it more frustrating that previous chartership sessions. We were given information about finance intermingled with four exercises. The purpose of the session was for us to think of library finance from a management perspective.

We began by thinking about changes in Libraries which might affect the way in which the budget is allocated. We also thought of items such as RFID which might need capital expenditure (necessitating an application for extra funding).

The second exercise involved considering which headings you might use when allocating a budget. This was interesting because we found that there were many items that could come under various headings. This illustrated the fact that there are many different ways in which a library can be organised.

During these two exercises it was useful to work in pairs so we could bounce ideas off one another.

The last two exercises were more practical. Firstly we had to allocate a fictional budget based on the figures from the previous year. Next we had to reorganise a staff budget, splitting one team into two teams. These were useful exercises but I found them difficult for several reasons.

Firstly, we were working in teams of four so we all had different ideas about how the budget might be arranged. I realise this is how we would work in a real situation but in a real situation we would all come to a meeting having worked out the figures so that we could consider and argue the point for all the options.

I also found the tasks difficult because we did not know the background of the situations so we couldn't make an informed decision. The tasks therefore reiterated fro me the importance of consultation.

The third exercise, allocating the non-pay budget, also had significance for me the next day when our director was describing in a staff meeting decisions he is making for next year's budget.. There were lots of similarities.

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