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Business Procedures Manual

7.8 Library Books and Reference Materials

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7.8.1 Library Books and Reference Materials Definition

A library book is generally a literary composition bound into a separate volume and identifiable as a separate copyrighted unit. Library reference materials are information sources other than books which include journals, periodicals, microforms, audio/visual media, computer-based information, manuscripts, maps, documents, and similar items that provide information essential to the learning process or which enhance the quality of academic, professional or research libraries. Changes in value for professional, academic or research libraries may be reported on an aggregated net basis.


7.8.2 Library Characteristics

A professional, academic or research library normally has one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. Internal controls are in place in lieu of central property management.

  2. Information is housed in a separate location.

  3. Physical security measures are in place to protect the assets.

  4. Checkout procedures and policies exist and are used.

  5. Individual item costs and supplemental information is generally contained in a supplemental database.

  6. Volumes assigned to libraries are typically available to employees, students, and other individuals for checkout or use.

  7. Existence of the library helps the institution fulfill its mission.

  8. The value is material to the organization.

  9. Equipment assigned to libraries typically remains under central security for on-premises use.

University System libraries will be reported on a composite basis by making net adjustments to total value to reflect increase or decrease in total value. Net adjustments must be made at least once annually by the close of the fiscal year.


7.8.3 Depreciation Methodology

The straight-line depreciation method will be used. The useful life of library assets is 10 years. For depreciation methodology, see Section 7.15.4.


7.8.4 Capitalization Threshold

All purchases of books and materials for a professional, academic or research library should be capitalized, as there is no minimum dollar amount. Library acquisitions are valued at cost or other reasonable basis, while deletions are valued at annually adjusted average cost. The library should maintain records of all books and other library items, which should suffice as detailed inventory records.

Books, periodicals and other materials purchased but not used in a library should be expensed unless they constitute a capital event. Examples of expenditures to be capitalized as library books and reference materials include:

  • Invoice price
  • Freight charges
  • Handling
  • In-transit insurance charges
  • Binding
  • Electronic access charges
  • Reproduction and like costs required to place assets in service, with the exception of library salaries

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