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DataBank: Assessment for Allocation of Collections Budgets: Comprehensive Allocation Process (CAP)

Introduces the Comprehensive Allocation Process (CAP) in which all resources in all formats are analyzed with the aim of creating a system of fund allocation.


This is a methodology for assessing collections via the collections budget. It synthesizes assessment with budget analysis, producing a fund allocation strategy.

The “Comprehensive Allocation Process” (CAP) is a reproducible decision-making structure for the allocation of new collections funds, for the reallocation of funds within stagnant budgets, and for budget cuts in the face of reduced funding levels. This system was designed to overcome common shortcomings of current methods. Its philosophical foundations include the values of accountability, transparency, and efficiency. It features a conceptual framework, quantitative data, qualitative evidence, and data analysis and allocation techniques.

This work offers: a reproducible collections budget allocation system that is fully adaptable to every type of library; a powerful tool that tests the appropriateness of current allocations; and a course of action applicable to all budget situations including fund allocation, reallocation, and reduction. The Collections Allocation Process (CAP) is a decision-making structure that encompasses the entire budget and incorporates all fund types, formats, and paths of acquisitions. It is as applicable to purchases charged through firm orders as it is to those received through approval plans. It works with unrestricted funds, endowments, gifts, and grants. It traces subject coverage in all formats including electronic resources, and it is suitable to the full range of holdings including such disparate collections as sociology, videos, the Elsevier Freedom Collection, and government documents. It can help determine where the addition of collections funds will have the greatest impact and where the subtraction of funds will have the least. In short, CAP brings to light the difference between what a budget looks like now, in terms of financial supply, and what the budget ought to look like if based on demand and costs.

Find it at:

Lyons, Lucy Eleonore and John Blosser, "An Analysis and Allocation System for Library Collections Budgets: The Comprehensive Allocation Process (CAP)," Journal of Academic Librarianship, 38/5: 294-310.