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Costing Services


11:59 pm

Event Type

Costing Services
3 Day Workshop
King’s College London
Maughan Library
19th November, 12th January & 2nd February
9.00am to 5.00pm

How can you demonstrate exactly how much an hours shelving is worth? Do you know what it costs to light your building for a year? What would an additional late evening do to your bottom line?

Whether developing a new service, defending an existing one or trying to secure staffing levels, using and presenting financial information effectively can help you secure the desired result.

In the climate of continuous improvement, comprehensive performance assessment, self-assessment and service development, it is essential for service managers to have the skills to develop and deliver accurately costed service plans.

Who should attend?

This programme is aimed at middle senior managers who want to develop or confirm their costing skills.

Prior Experience

Some previous experience relating to library finances is desirable though not essential. Some pre-existing Microsoft Excel skills are important. If you are not sure whether your Excel skills will be adequate please contact Sue Somerset ( or Susan Gilbert ( who will mail you a checklist of the Excel functions that will be required for the course.

Learning Aims:

To have an improved understanding of the tools needed for costing services

To be better equipped to contribute to service level agreements, respond to requests for new services or bid for funds

To be better equipped to defend current budgetary expenditures

To evaluate team skills sets and the need for essential professional input when undertaking costing activities in the workplace


At the end of the three day course, participants should be able to:

Identify the information most relevant for accurate cost and service comparisons

List a number of useful techniques for costing library services and discuss the appropriateness of each to particular situations

Describe useful tools for successful funding bids

Map out the procedure to cost the nth hour of service

Identify costing processes that can be undertaken in house and differentiate those from processes where help from finance and other colleagues will be desirable.

Practical tools:

Costing information
Chargeable Hours
Calculating an hourly rate
Approaches around apportionment and allocation of shared costs
Defining activities
Bidding for funds
Extended opening hours
Self-service systems – self issue, self credit updating, self payment of fines.
Understanding marginal costing principles and the impact of fixed and variable costs on a library’s costing structure

Outline Programme

Day 1:
Chargeable hours, time recording, calculating an hourly rate
An illustrated example regarding opening hours
Facilitated individual work session – prepare an action plan for calculating extended hours, 24 hour reference access, 24 hour access to the I T lab or a similar “hours of access” type of evaluation. (Participants can either choose a real live situation to make a start on or work on a Case-study scenario)
Interim work – finish the calculation of the cost of the hours related service

Day 2:
Feedback session re interim work
Activity Based Costing, costing an individual library services within a total library framework
Approaches about allocation and apportionment of shared costs
Case-study example
Unit Costs
Individual Work Session – Identify activities to be costed in individual libraries participants represent and assessing the burden of shared costs on particular services

Day 3:
Activity Costing Next Steps
Fixed and variable costs
Marginal costing
Cost implications of dropping a service
Cost implications of increasing the quantity or quality of service.


For those whole are unable to access in house skills to support their costing work, there is a possibility of interim facilitation paid for on a bought as used basis either remotely or in one to one meetings at the central London venue, to facilitate translation of skills learnt into workplace situations. Enquiries in the first instance should be directed to Sue Somerset or Susan Gilbert.

Please Bring With You

Laptop with CD drive
Notetaking paper

Please let Sue Somerset or Susan Gilbert know if you are not able to supply your own laptop.

Cost is £250.00 for CPD25 members, £320.00 for M25 affiliate members and £380.00 for other institutions, including lunch & refreshments.

Please note that there are only 12 places available for this event, which will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Bookings will close on the 12th November 2004 and any cancellations after that date will incur a 50% cancellation fee. In the event of a “no show??? on the day 100% cancellation charges will apply.

Booking form for M25 Members   Booking form for non-Members