Feedback Requested on Acquisitions Reduction Strategies FY13
Last year, as part of budget reductions and the rebasing effort, the Libraries cut $180,000 from acquisitions, after several years of cutting the operations and personnel budgets more heavily. The Libraries chose to avoid making a permanent decision regarding this cut so that there was time for faculty input. Instead, we eliminated the amount of money we typically spent on one-time purchases (primarily books), backfilled that with one-time only Foundation funds, and piloted demand-driven acquisitions. Now the time has come to make the final decisions regarding how we will make the acquisitions reduction.
Let’s briefly review our budget numbers. Our state funded acquisitions budget for FY13 is $1,777,292. The Libraries are permanently reallocating an additional$40,000 annually from Foundation funds and revenues (books sales and fines) in an effort to reduce the impact of the cuts. That makes our total acquisitions budget $1,817,292.
Our projected expenditures are $1,911,010, taking into account a 6.5% increase for inflation and accommodations for new commitments. This places our actual budget deficit at $93,718.
To make this reduction, we have no choice but to reduce subscriptions. The other consideration is whether or not to add back a portion of the acquisitions budget for books. In my opinion, this is essential.
In order to balance the impact of this reduction, we took into consideration faculty feedback from a survey conducted in winter quarter. To questions regarding collection priorities, faculty responded that they preferred full text databases, online journal subscriptions, and books (see http://library.wwu.edu/assessment/survey_cycle_assessment for a summary of the results of this survey). As a result, we propose keeping all full text journal packages. For reduction consideration, we are providing you with four lists, based on usage during the past three years: Print subscriptions, single title electronic journals, standing orders, and low-use citation-only databases. All items selected for reduction show low use and high costs, in this case $100 or more per use. When you take into consideration that we can acquire any journal article or book for less money from interlibrary loan, Summit, or Copyright Clearance Center’s Get It Now service, we have to seriously ask whether continuing to pay for access to these items would be good stewardship of state resources.
You can find these lists, as well as an overview of the reductions, our methodology in proposing them, and frequently asked questions, at http://library.wwu.edu/acq_overview. If we were to cut everything on these lists, the total reduction would be $169,000. That would provide a little over $75,000 for books and other one-time purchases on an ongoing basis. We see this as an initial step towards having additional funds for books. We will look to increase the book budget commitment next year and beyond until the proper balance between books and serials is achieved.
We’d like your feedback and encourage comments from faculty, staff, and students on these planned reductions. Please send feedback to your college’s Senate Library Committee representative or to me, at Chris.Cox@wwu.edu, by 5pm, Tuesday, May 29. Please keep in mind that for every subscription listed here that we decide to keep, one or more subscriptions NOT on this list may need to be cut. The Senate Library Committee will collate comments and engage with the library in determining how the library will move forward on behalf of the university’s students and faculty to achieve the reduction.