Here’s a unique idea.  Become a Passport Acceptance Facility.  See the following article.


If anyone reading this has done this at your library, I would love to hear about your experience.




Sue Gagnon

Head of Periodicals

Geisel Library

Saint Anselm College

100 Saint Anselm Drive

Manchester, NH  03012-1310



From: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LISTSERV.NASIG.ORG] On Behalf Of Teresa Grimm
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:40 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Revenue generating academic libraries


This is a brainstorming list; please do not shoot the messenger.  


How about charging for interlibrary loans if you aren't already?


Increasing fines.

Sell things students may need while in library at higher costs such as USB, printing, 

Sell coffee.  If you have a coffee shop on campus, only sell coffee when coffee shop is not open.

Are you located where anyone else would want to rent a meeting room etc. 

Sell old books.  Advertise on Craig's list or other places old book resellers may be looking.

Vending machines

Can you start providing services to other groups and charging such as ILL for alumni or use of 3-D printer?  Database licensing would probably prohibit research for companies.  

How about applying for grants to support services or equipment?  We have a donation program where alumni can fund a journal in the library.  Maybe you can do this for a database.  If you have a Sports program, reach out to former students to donate funds to provide SportDISCUS database. 

There are programs like the Amazon program that gives back money when someone makes a purchase. 


Good luck.


On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 3:12 PM, McCaffery, Damien <> wrote:

Hi Carissa, 


The only revenue-generating scheme I’ve tried was selling de-accessioned books in bulk, and there wasn’t much choice about it.


At a previous job at a small college, I found myself, as head librarian on a staff of one, having to move the library to a new space half the size of the old one. Consequently, I had to get rid of half our collection.


I thought that the best I could make of an unfortunate situation was to sell our newly-de-accessioned books, and thereby generate some revenue (maybe not the strict definition of revenue -- bring in cash, anyway) for the scholarship fund.


So in the weeks before moving to the new space, I set the library up like a flea market and got ready to sell, I hoped, at least half of the 10,000+ items  now arrayed in boxes on the floor. Each item, one dollar.


You might have seen this coming, but we sold very, very few books, DVDs, CDs, or anything else. Better World Books would up taking a moving truck of material off our hands.


BTW, this occurred – the irony is acute, and painful – at a for-profit college.


Wish I had a better suggestions, but there’s my experience!




Damien McCaffery | Electronic Resources Librarian | Paul J. Gutman Library | Philadelphia University | 215-951-2674 |


From: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum [mailto:SERIALST@LISTSERV.NASIG.ORG] On Behalf Of Carissa Hernandez
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2017 3:39 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Revenue generating academic libraries


Dear all,

I have been tasked to research ways in which an academic library could possibly be a revenue producing entity at a small university. I have done a literature search, but thought I would pose this question to the collective wisdom (Apologies for cross-posting). 

Any libraries out there that have engaged in revenue generating activities and what have these activities been? What ideas did you come up with? How successful were they? What was more trouble than it was worth? What can a library expect to generate (at best)?

with thanks,


Catalog Librarian



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