Business Procedures Manual

Essential business procedural components for University System of Georgia institutions.

7.8 Library Books and Reference Materials

7.8.1 Library Books and Reference Materials Definition

(Last Modified on May 1, 2017)

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

(Last Modified on May 1, 2017)

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 centralized 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.

USG 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

(Last Modified on May 1, 2017)

The straight-line depreciation method will be used. The useful life of library assets is 10 years. For depreciation methodology, please see worksheet associated with Year- end Journal Entry # 17.


7.8.4 Capitalization Threshold

(Last Modified on May 1, 2017)

State Accounting Office (SAO) policy requires that all library collections that exceed $ 100,000 in value must be capitalized. Since all institutions have total library collections, which exceed this threshold, all purchases of books and materials for a professional, academic or research library must be capitalized. 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
  • Reproduction and like costs required to place assets in service, with the exception of library salaries

Note: E-Books and other electronic reference materials are to be treated as software. Please refer to Section 7.10 for guidance on capitalization.


(Last Modified on May 1, 2017)

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