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Update on Reductions in Libraries’ Resources

Date: October 21, 2009

Contact: Research Support Librarians


University Libraries’ Spending Reductions for 2009/10 & 2010/11

Why do we need to reduce spending on Library acquisitions? 

Despite campus efforts to hold the Libraries’ Information Access Budget harmless, the cost of information resources (books, journals, bibliographic databases, etc.) increases each year, necessitating a reduction in our purchases. In Spring 2008 the Libraries began planning for a reduction in spending based on our best estimates of projected inflation. The campus community was notified of this need in Fall 2008. Criteria, feedback opportunities and a decision-making process were established. Final decisions on reductions were made in September 2009.

•    The need to reduce spending by $976,000 is solely in response to inflation and a flat budget. The Libraries’ acquisitions budget was not cut this year.
•    Over the last five years the Libraries already have been forced to reduce acquisition expenditures by $400,000, in 2003/04, and by $820,000 in 2006/07, to cover inflation.
•    The $976,000 reduction is approximately 11% of the $8.8 million Information Access Budget. These calculations assume the current level of funding for 2009/10 and 2010/11.
•    In order to minimize the time and effort required to manage such a large reduction, we are working on a two-year cycle.

What is being cut. Summary and link to detailed lists.

For both a summary and a detailed list of titles to be cut in 2009/10 and 2010/11 see http://www.library.arizona.edu/spendingReduction/

Additional reductions may have to be taken in 2010/11 if costs increase beyond our current projections or if we do not receive additional income.

How Lists Were Developed and the Cuts Decided:
The current spending reduction comes primarily from cuts in the Libraries’ book budget and the cancellation of journal and database subscriptions. The criteria for selecting materials for cancellation or reduced spending rely heavily on customer use data including the following: circulation; in-library use; overlap with other resources; cost per use; citation data; and feedback from faculty and students during the 8-week open comment period last Spring.

We made an effort to honor University priorities and minimize impacts. However, this reduction is so large that the Libraries will not be able to meet everyone's needs or requests.

Mitigation Efforts:
To mitigate the impact of these reductions the Libraries have invested in alternative resources to expand access, mostly via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Through these efforts, the Libraries provide access to the following information resources:
•    The Research Libraries Group (RLG) Shares program provides access to research collections in over 120 of the world’s major research libraries which allows access to restricted, non-circulating and special collections that normally are not lent.
•    The collections of 128 RAPID ILL Libraries provide scanned materials in an average 24-hour turnaround time.
•    The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) representing 32 research libraries delivers requested books in an average of 4 days.
•    The Center for Research Libraries which holds unique material including resources for Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In addition, the University Libraries support the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) statement which urges publishers to offer flexible pricing and extended payment options during a period of near-unprecedented economic changes. Eighty-seven library consortia from the U.S. and 30 other countries have signed this statement. Members are using it both to raise awareness and to negotiate for options in the best interest of all stakeholders.

For more information, please visit http://www.library.arizona.edu/spendingReduction/