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Public Library Statistical Report

Help for completing the annual Oregon Public Library Statistical Report.

Part 3 - Library Revenue - FAQs

Part 3 - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the essence of revenue?

This is a statistical survey and not a accounting sheet, audit document, or budget.

The intent of revenue questions is to determine what kind of income does the library normally have to work with and where is the money generated? What kinds and amounts of services can the library provide with that income?

You want to count the fresh money available each year. I liken it to standing on the banks of a salmon river in Oregon. You want to know how much rain falls on you, or water bubbles up from springs each year in order to keep the salmon alive. Funds that carry over are like last year's rain that is stored behind a dam. It already got counted as revenue when it first fell. It's there and you use it when rainfall is short.

It is possible that because of the use of carryover funds that aren't counted in revenue that a library's expenditures will exceed its revenue from time to time.


My library has recently started a capital campaign, but we won't start construction for several years. What about capital funds that are unspent/carried over from year to year?

Only report Capital Revenue if it was budgeted to be spent of capital projects during the fiscal year you are reporting on. Do not report on capital revenue that is carried over.


Is Revenue the same as my budget?

Not necessarily. Sometimes, a governing body will issue a budget at the start of the fiscal year, and then some calamity will occur, and the library's budget will be reduced mid-year. What we are trying to collect is the actual amount of cash flow a library had to work with.


Do I count LSTA grant funds as revenue?

Yes. If you have received LSTA funds from a grant from the State Library of Oregon, count the amount of LSTA funds actually received during the fiscal year under Federal Revenue. In Oregon, LSTA funds have a separate subfield under Federal Revenue.

If your library is a participant in an LSTA project, but it is not the fiscal agent, you do not need to report anything unless the fiscal agent cut checks to your library using LSTA money.

Example: Library A and Library B are working together on a $70,000 LSTA grant from the State Library. Library A is doing all the accounting and grant management. Library A has received checks from the State Library for $47,333 in the fiscal year. If the funds were used for grant operating costs, and not a major capital expenditure, Library A records $47,333 under LSTA in the Federal Revenue section. Library B has received many new books, and kits for outreach, but no LSTA checks, so they report $0 LSTA revenue. If Library B received reimbursement for travel on the grant, that amount would be reported as LSTA funds received.


Fines and fees: do I count them if the money goes right to the county or city?

Yes. Please include these, along with a note if the funds are passed through to another agency.


Where do I record grant revenue?

Where to record grant revenue depends on the source and nature of the grant. A Ready to Read grant is reported on the State Revenue line, 3.5. LSTA funds received would be on 3.6. E-rate funds received on 3.7

If its a grant from a non-government entity, such as the Collins Foundation, or the Kiwanas, or the Meyer Memorial Trust, the grant revenue is listed with Other Revenue, line 3.10. EXCEPT when the grant is for construction or capital items (such as roofing repair), in which case it would fit somewhere on lines 3.12-3.15 Capital Revenue


Our Friends purchased books for us. Do we count the revenue?

Generally no. If a group, or the Friends, give the library cash, and you have control over spending the cash, then the funds would be counted as Other Revenue. If they keep control of the cash, and present you with books, or other items, then do NOT count anything as revenue or expenditure. The value of in-kind donations is not counted as either revenue or expenditure.


What do we do if someone gives us a bunch of cash?

Grab it, then jump for joy! Where to record cash gifts depends on the nature and purpose of the gift. If it's a smaller amount, and is intended for some normal expenditures, say craft materials or replacement books, count it as Other Revenue. If the funds are meant to start an endowment, they would be reported once as capital revenue. Afterwards, only the interest income the library gets to spend on ordinary stuff would be counted as other revenue. If the cash gift is for a building or major project, record it as capital revenue.


What do I do about e-rate?

The FCC, a federal agency, sets the rules for the allocation and disbursement of e-rate funds and approves the annual expenditures for e-rate but the funds themselves do not come from or through the FCC. E-rate is not part of a budget that is passed by the U.S. Congress or signed by the President. The funds do not come from taxes, but from a fee attached to services from telecommunications companies which are then put into the USF (Universal Service Fund) that is administered by the USAC (Universal Service Administrative Company), an independent, not-for-profit corporation specifically designated to deal with these funds (47 CFR 54).

E-rate operates either as a discount or reimbursement. To that end, some libraries never see the funds and may never know the actual amount of the discount, whereas others pay the money and are reimbursed. Thus, for some libraries, the amount may be buried on a document which they never see, but others have clear documentation associated with the exact amount for which the library was reimbursed. This exacerbates a problem in the reporting on the survey. If the discounts are not reported as expenditures, this results in an under-representation of the cost to run a library. If the funds are put in the expenditures, but not in the revenue, the library may appear to be running a deficit, which would be inaccurate.

It is clear, at the very least, that e-rate funds should not be counted as Federal Revenue; they are best reported under Other Revenue Sources.

THEREFORE:

Thus, if there is an invoice sent to a library that indicates the amount of the e-rate discount (i.e., supported by documentation) then the library can report this as an expenditure under Other Operating Expenditures. In such a case, the library should also report the e-rate funds that supported the discount in Other Revenue in Section 3. If the library receives a reimbursement check, report as Other Revenue.

If no such documentation can be identified or the library receives, then the amount should not be reported in either revenue or expenditure.


Bequests and savings accounts that aren't endowments - what to do?

Look at the purpose of the funds - if its to support normal daily activities of the library, such as buy more books, craft supplies, replace a few odd things, record the initial amount as Other Revenue. If the purpose of gift or bequest is carpeting, roofing, painting, or building, record the initial amount in Capital Revenue wherever its most appropriate. If the money is then put in a savings account, and last for a couple years, each year, record only the interest in Other Revenue.

The expenditures would show with whatever the funds were spent on - books, salary, other operating costs, etc. , or someplace in Capital Expenditures.


Pass-through funds, how do I report them?

Remember that the purpose of the survey is for library planning, advocacy, and shameless money raising. Your data gets published nationally, as well as being recycled for the LJ Index, Hennen Report and is available on national data tools. Think about that. So if someone were to take that revenue figure including that pass-through, and use it to show that you DON'T need that levy, or can afford that new building without loans... Or they take that expenditures figure that includes pass-through funds, and use it to show the library is a LOT more expensive that its neighbors... Imagine. You don't really have use of that money and it has nothing to do with how much of services you can provide.

This is a statistical survey, not a audit or balance sheet. Don't include pass-through revenue or expenditures.


Friends and/or Foundation funds are handled by the library, do we report these funds?

If the library is acting as a banker for the Friends or Foundation, do not count their revenue or expenditures as yours unless they formally move to hand the library a check to spend as it will.