With the rapid increase in the demand of new digital services, the high cost of information, and the dramatic economic slowdown, libraries have been pressured to
improve their services at lower costs. To cope with these requirements, on the one hand library managers must improve their knowledge and understanding on cost behaviour, and rely on valid information about the different costs drivers involved in the library. On the other hand, librarians should develop managerial skills to assist managers presenting alternative proposals to develop new services, justifying staff requirements or proposing increases in their salaries.
Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing (TDABC) is a cost management technique that allows to develop accurate cost information on a wide range of activities. Nevertheless, little is known about applying TDABC in libraries. Some studies were applied to very specific processes (e.g. inter-library loan and acquisition processes). More research is still needed to identify whether TDABC is useful and feasible to implement for a more extensive set of library activities. Through an analysis performed at an academic library in Belgium, this document introduces TDABC as a useful method for supporting lending and returning processes.