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Valuation of library collection (for GASB 34)

GASB Statement 34, commonly referred to as GASB 34, is a new set of accounting rules published by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board. GASB 34 requires public sector agencies, such as libraries, to use accrual accounting. This method provides a clearer picture of the fiscal health of the agency.

If you get questions about the valuation of your library collection for GASB 34 purposes, the Example of Collection Valuation spreadsheet is a suggested way to calculate the value of your library's collection. The spreadsheet was prepared by the Division for Libraries, Technology, and Community Learning (DLTCL). It is suggested that you have your municipality’s auditors review it before using it to perform your calculations.

Please note the following:

  • this valuation refers to all materials, not just books. It treats all materials the same. It is based on how much you spend on your collection each year. You do not have to know how many items you purchased or what kinds of material you bought in order to use it.
  • this valuation is not the same as the cost of your collection for insurance purposes for replacement.
  • this valuation does not reflect what you would charge a patron for replacement costs.
  • this valuation does not reflect special collections of, for example, rare books. If you have a special or rare book collection, you will want to get them assessed separately.


Here is how the spreadsheet works:

  • Items in the collection are assigned a life expectancy of 5 years.
  • The dollar amounts across the top represent your annual materials expenditures.
  • Annual expenditures depreciate annually by 20%.
  • In the first year, the annual expenditure is depreciated by 1/2 of a full year's depreciation (10%). (This allows for the fact that some items are in the collection nearly a full year, while others may have been purchased later in the year.)
For more information, contact: