Let’s face it; there is no city, county, or organization that is immune to the challenges and budget issues caused by the current worldwide economic downturn. This is especially true for libraries. So, how do libraries justify allocating budget dollars for Unique Management Services’ (UMS) material recovery service when budgets are tight?
Stated simply, because UMS is an asset protector and revenue producer for libraries! When budgets are tight or being downsized, UMS’ material recovery service becomes even more important, because our guaranteed ability to help libraries recover lost materials, fines, and fees protects the library’s assets, reduces expenses, and increases revenue.
What To Do When Preparing Your Budget
When preparing the library’s annual budget, it is important to account for the full financial impact of our service. The library’s projected cost for replacing lost materials should decrease, because our service will recover approximately 50% of the value of materials submitted for recovery. In addition, income should be projected to increase, because of money recovered from accounts submitted to UMS.
While many services cost money, UMS helps collect money (fines and/or fees) as part of our material recovery service. Even if the library does not directly receive the fines and fees, this revenue contributes to the general fund, which supports long-term budget needs for the library. In almost every instance, cash recovery is more than the amount invoiced to the library; creating a profit, not a budget restraint. Essentially the service pays for itself, and then some.
The Gentle Nudge Approach
As you know, to get the library’s materials back, UMS uses a Gentle Nudge® approach designed specifically for the needs of libraries and their patrons. Without the assistance of the third party leverage UMS provides, materials will simply remain outstanding. Patrons now, more than ever, want to use the library as an alternate form of entertainment. Often times, patrons would like to return to the library, but they are embarrassed that they have overdue materials and/or fines that have built up on their account, more so in their mind than in reality. Having UMS continue gently nudging these patrons will help them realize just how easy it is to return to the library and clear up their account with the assistance of library staff. By working to clear their account with staff, patrons will also notice how helpful and accommodating the library is and they will be eager to use their newly regained borrowing privileges. This is another added value of our service!
While budget-cutting decisions are never easy, it is in the library’s best interest to fully utilize UMS’ highly effective material recovery service; because I strongly believe it is one of the most cost effective, high-return investments a library can make. Therefore, I encourage libraries to think of UMS as a strategic partnership, as opposed to an expendable service. UMS is not an expendable service, because it more than pays for itself while producing additional revenue.