The agenda was approved unanimously with no amendments.
To date this fiscal year we have spent approximately $92,000 on 2,321 titles received through the approval plan.
The nonstate funds were allocated in an especially timely fashion this fiscal year. The smaller, subject-specific endowments are already in Workflows. The remainder will be entered after Nancy Hendrickson returns from vacation.
The Library Resources Council is discussing weeding of microforms. At present a number of very large sets that are now duplicated by online databases, such as the American Periodicals Series, are being relocated from the Alexander library to the Annex. This will create space for the new café. The Council will in future consider moving or deaccessioning other sets.
Generally we have received more monies for collection development from the University than we had anticipated earlier. The reduction in state funds for CD is less than $200,000, and once again we received our share of student computing fees. There is therefore some hope that we will have funds later in the fiscal year for big-ticket items. On the other hand, non-state money is down. Phonathon funds, for example, have dropped by approximately twenty percent. Pay-out on endowed funds also is down.
The Library Resources Council will be discussing a general weeding policy. Acquisitions is reviewing standing monographic orders.
Tom is talking to his counterparts at Penn, Princeton, and Temple about ways in which we might collaborate on various matters relating to collection development.
Judy and Ryan Nowlin, a SCI student, have created a spreadsheet that shows all of the Libraries’ regular interlibrary loan requests from October 2009 through June 2010. An extensive discussion ensued as to how this data might help us make more informed and cost-effective collection development decisions. For example, Tom Izbicki reported that in a study he conducted some years ago at John Hopkins it was more expensive to request a standard monograph four or more times through interlibrary loan than to buy a copy for the collection. Ryan will follow up with Judy regarding the kinds of numbers we would like to see generated. We should email him with any suggestions or questions we may have. The spreadsheet has been added to the ILL Sakai site. At present it does not include EZ-Borrow requests, but it may be possible to add those titles at a later date.
Ryan submitted and the group discussed the draft of a sobering report on “The Future of the New Brunswick Approval Plan, or, the Future of Monographs at RUL”. NBCG recently completed a review of the publishers covered under the plan and, in view of our current collections budget, decided to eliminate 225 commercial and academic presses. This will be in addition to significant cuts in the last several years. In 2010 we acquired approximately 9,000 approval titles compared to approximately 15,000 three years earlier. Since more than half of our collection development is through the Coutts plan, any serious reduction in approval expenditures has serious implications for our future as a research institution. For example, our ranking for number of titles acquired among the Association of Research Libraries, which was 73rd out of 92 in 2008, will now drop to at least 80th or perhaps lower.
More seriously, we have for several years relied entirely on both the interest and principal from the Van Wagoner fund to support the approval plan. The fund will run out completely some time in 2013 and our ARL ranking might sink even lower. Rutgers could rank below, for example, Auburn University. The report notes that there are only three possible sources with which to fund approval after the Van Wagoner fund has been spent: monies from the University; from gifts and new endowments; and from reallocations with the Libraries’ budget. NBCG needs to begin making a compelling case now for sufficient funding to build a monographs collection worthy of a national research institution.
The report has been posted on the NBCG Sakai site. Ryan asked that we share our comments and suggestions. After revising it, he will present it to the Library resources Council and perhaps the New Brunswick Faculty Council.
Tom Izbicki, Acting AUL for Collection Development, will be out of country from November 1-15.
Ella Hu reported that Elsevier is replacing its client-based chemistry database, Crossfire, with a new web-based product, Reaxys. Ella will arrange for a trial of Reaxys. Like Crossfire, it indexes articles and patents and is searchable by chemical compound.