News and Events: Archive:

Update on effect of budget cuts on Libraries' collections

December 6, 2006

To the Rutgers University community,

I'm writing to provide an update to my message of August 30, 2006 regarding the reduction of state funds for the Libraries collections budget. There is an $800,000 or 11% reduction in the collections base budget and the projected inflation rate on 2007 serials (7%) is $450,000 for our current serials. This results in a net reduction of $1,250,000. Fortunately, we have received $198,166 temporary state funding for books from the university administration for this fiscal year.

The Libraries developed a strategy to face this new budget reality. Taking into account the strong demand for online journals and databases, we determined the following:

  • unnecessary duplicate and lesser-used print journal subscriptions should be a primary target for cancellation
  • elimination of the duplicate print subscriptions should include evaluation of online availability where possible
  • lesser-used databases should be canceled, especially where similar information was available in other sources
  • terms of contracts with major information providers should be renegotiated if possible

We have now completed the reduction strategy with the following results:

  • 660 print serial subscriptions have been canceled.
  • 547 of the print serial subscriptions are available or have been converted to online titles from current, reliable sources.
  • Previously 150 of these online titles were only available in print format within the Libraries. In many instances the change in format has expanded access to the Newark and Camden campuses.
  • 113 print subscriptions not available in online format were also canceled. A small number of unique print titles were canceled that were little used and similar information is available elsewhere, often in online resources. Where titles were considered more valuable, at least one copy was retained within the library system and in many cases one copy remains on all three campuses.
  • 12 lesser-used databases were canceled.
  • Terms of contracts with major information providers were changed.

The efficient cancellation and negotiation process netted a savings of approximately $500,000, therefore reducing our collection budget loss to $750,000. The good news is that in the end, minimal serial content has been lost.

Robert G. Sewell,
Associate University Librarian for Collection Development and Management

Posted December 6, 2006