Council II Hears Financial Report, Details on Neal-Schuman Acquisition
ALA Council approved programmatic priorities in line with the ALA Ahead to 2015 strategic plan and as a guide to the preparation of the fiscal year 2013 budget, as presented by Treasurer Jim Neal (Council Document #13.0), during its second session on Monday. The Association’s priority areas are diversity, equitable access to information and library services, education and learning, intellectual freedom, advocacy for libraries and the profession, literacy, and organizational excellence.
In an overview of the FY2011 budget, Neal reported that overall consolidated revenues and expenses are down $2.4 million from FY2010. Total revenues were $46.5 million, down nearly $6 million or 11.3%, with the largest declines in meetings and conferences, and grants and awards. Expenses totaled $46.7 million, down $3.5 million or 7%. Total ALA assets are $69.5 million, up 3.5%, and liabilities $39.4 million, up 5%. Net general fund revenue and expenses are down by $437,067.
General fund revenues are $26 million, down 1.4%, with the largest decline in meetings and conferences, according to Neal, partly due to company consolidations that reduced the number of exhibitors. General fund expenses totaled $26.5 million, a less than 1% rise.
Neal said issues that will affect the FY2013 budget include library budgets that still lag behind the economic recovery, a political environment in Washington that “is not as supportive as we like,” the continuation of state- and local-level financial issues, one less division conference that will impact the general fund by $500,000, and a need to leverage assets to support strategic priorities.
As budget planning continues, Neal said the Association will, among other things, invest in the 2015 strategic priorities; new technology systems and services; expand the migration of electronic publishing distribution and business models; and sustain and grow membership, particularly organizational and division.
Neal also provided an update on ALA’s acquisition of Neal-Schuman Publishing. He said discussions began about two years ago and a due diligence review confirmed the company’s financial health. An accounting firm carried out a detailed valuation presenting three estimates of fair market value, the results of which revealed that the $7 million purchase price was in an appropriate range of the company’s value. Neal said a detailed business plan was developed based on conservative projections about future sales prospects and price increases as well as the ability of the Association to expand electronic publishing and educational products. A loan was secured for the purchase to be repaid within five to seven years. Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said five full-time positions will be added to support the new acquisition.
In other action, Council approved two items from the Policy Monitoring Committee (CD#17) that changes the language regarding the Association’s Long Term Investment Fund use, withdrawal repayment and asks that all resolutions clearly support ALA’s Strategic Plan; a measure from the Committee on Organization (CD#27) that modifies the composition of the Committee on Education; and approved Honorary Memberships for Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and former ALA president Betty Turock , professor and dean emeritus at Rutgers University (CD#24–24.2).