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What in the world is ALFMO you ask? As did I when I first saw the call for presentations for its inaugural conference. What the acronym stands for is the “Association of Library Financial Management Officers.” As it turns out, this new association is being formed by Bob Kieserman, a professor of Business Administration at Arcadia University and a librarian. He has a business that includes forming “niche” library associations that are not necessarily covered by the big players like ALA and SLA. Along with this new association, he’s formed ones for communication and outreach, and human resource managers.

The conference was small in numbers but big in interest and enthusiasm. It was held at Kieserman’s institution, Arcadia University, outside of Philadalphia.

Grey Tower Castle

Grey Tower Castle on the campus of Arcadia University

To a person, all the attendees (who traveled great distances and were from both academic and public libraries) said that they were attracted by the opportunity to interact with other professionals who shared their passion for financial management in the library world. They looked forward to talking about their areas of expertise without having people’s eyes glaze over!

I became involved when contacted by our old friend and colleague, Mary Horton, who is Assistant Director of Administrative Services at Cooper Library, University of South Carolina. She thought people might be interested in how financial management varies between a public and private university. Her idea was accepted and so we gave one of the concurrent sessions at the conference:

Since I have only been working with the ZSR budget and finances for a bit over the year, I found the conference to be very helpful. Sessions covered forecasting, hidden costs in renovation, the connection between strategic planning and budgeting, cash handling (on a large scale), and managing the budget creation process through relationships. Because of its small size, there was ample opportunity to network with new colleagues and explore side areas of financial interests!