Like the rest of the campus community, the University Libraries is making provisions for a potential budget shortfall in the University’s budget in FY2018-2019. Before our summer session, I want to update you on what this means for the Libraries and specifically our collections as this may result in significant cuts to library resources. In addition to this update, the Libraries will host several open meetings where we will provide a more detailed overview of the cuts. I encourage you to attend one of those meetings if you have any questions or would like to voice concerns.
The Libraries’ budget is largely composed of our collections budget and personnel expenses. As a result, any cut would primarily be borne by library collections. To prepare for any budget cuts we have identified approximately $450,000 worth of titles potentially to be canceled. The majority of these cancellations will necessarily be from electronic resources (databases and journals) and print periodicals. Electronic resources and print periodicals comprise 80% of our collections budget and their cost is inflating at 6-8% each year. (The Library Journal’s recently released periodicals price survey for 2018, predicts journal inflation of just over 6% in 2019).
This is our plan for reaching our targeted budget cut:
- Hold our book budget flat in FY2018-2019. Book prices generally inflate about 3.5% annually: this lowers our purchasing power in books, but also spares books the worst of the cut. This is important because our book budget has been cut disproportionately over the past years.
- Cut high cost/low use electronic and print periodicals, specifically titles for which our cost per use was over $75.
- In addition to cutting high cost-per-use titles, apply a cut across subject funds based on each fund’s share of the total print periodical and electronic resources budget.
Our subject librarians have carefully reviewed collections to identify titles to cancel that will be least disruptive to our ability to support research, scholarship, teaching and learning. The result is the preliminary cancellation list for your review – click on this link to view the entire list:
Most of these titles have renewal dates in late September or later in the fiscal year, so we have time to have a more thorough conversation before finalizing any needed cancellation list. In some cases, however, the renewal period begins July 1, 2018. These titles are shaded in red. Our intention is to proceed with cancelling these titles in July with the understanding that should the budget situation improve, or as the result of further conversations, some of the titles on this “early cut” list may be reinstated in the fall. The risk to this approach is that there may be some discontinuity of access to these titles until such time as they may be reinstated.
We will be holding meetings to discuss these potential collection cuts, but specifically focused on the “early cut” list. You are encouraged to attend one of these dates:
- 11 a.m.-Noon, May 4, Zurack Collaboration Center, Bartle Library
- 3-4 p.m., May 9, Zurack Collaboration Center, Bartle Library
- 1-2 p.m., May 15, Zurack Collaboration Center, Bartle Library
This topic will be revisited at the beginning of the fall semester, but given the timing of the situation we wanted to bring it to your attention now as well. Our goal is to make this process as transparent as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Jill Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Collections, or Jim Galbraith (email@example.com), Head of Collection Development.
Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of the University Libraries.
Curtis Kendrick, Dean of Libraries