Minutes of May 16, 2008 Meeting

RGardner, Hartman, Hoffman (recorder) Izbicki, Lo, Mardikian, Mulcahy (chair) Mullen, Niessen, Schulman, Sewell, Smulewitz, Womack, Wu

1. Agenda - approved

2. Minutes - approved

3. Chair's Report - Mulcahy

Distributed spreadsheets: note: negative free balance in state and non-state funds. Also distributed Tables displaying 11 years of expenditures for the libraries - both state and non-state funds. For 2008 figures are not good - barely above the 11 year average. Movement of funds and expenditures to Central funds accounts for some of the drop in New Brunswick-specific fund codes. Sewell reported that the Central fund for electronic resources is >$3 million. We will have to look for cuts here as well as individual fund codes with the magnitude of the budget cuts currently anticipated.

Yankee approval plan handout - through April - note on line 57 that we have spent $133,405 less than last year at the same time. Be aware that there is no addtional funding for approval plan so that if selectors want to expand coverage in one area, they must refine sufficiently in another of their areas, to compensate for increased costs, i.e., changes in approval plan must be "revenue neutral". Van Wagoner fund is being depleted - - it can support approval plan for only about another 3 years.

At CDC, Sewell distributed information on inflation costs. Periodical inflation is the greatest - even humanities titles are increasing.

Also noted was the fact that while the University Budget has increased by 159% from 1989 to 2006, the library budget has increased only 52% in that time. During that time our ranking among ARL libraries has slipped precipitously from its peak of number 7 in 1989 to number 43 in 2006.

A list of the most expensive packages and databases, excluding Sci-Finder Scholar, was distributed. Together they cost the Libraries >$3,700,000. Some items may not be on this list due to peculiarities in fund code assignments and classifications.

VALE is negotiating new pricing from vendors to try to replace titles lost with loss of NJKI. They should have prices to us by May 27. Vendors are asking for renewal commitments by July but Sewell has told them that we cannot commit until we know what our budget will be.

In our worst case budget scenario, we would have 10% inflation and a 7% budget cut on top of the loss of NJKI which would total a loss of about $1,700,000. This would equal a budget cut of around 25%. Cuts of this magnitude cannot be implemented while still providing adequate resources in all areas. Even with no budget cut, the loss of NJKI plus a 10% inflation would be close to a 20% cut.

Sewell will selectively release some fund codes permitting them to encumber more than 90% of allocations. He needed to limit encumbrances to 90% because Yankee does not give 18% discount on paperbacks (5%), and other items are coming in at list price, rather than with discount. And many foreign titles are coming in at higher prices because of the falling value of the dollar.

Smulewitz reported that periodicals with price increases of greater than 20% cost over $66,000 this year.

We were reminded that in the case of numbered monographic series, Yankee will send Volume I on approval, but will block additional volumes unless a standing order is initiated.

4. Team Leader Reports

Womack reported that the Social Sciences group met yesterday - minutes are forthcoming.

5. Distributed Technical Services Update - Smulewitz

ISOG= (Inventory Stacks Automation working Group) is working on inventorying the stacks, reviewing material for condition and noting that condition in the item record. They have sampled Chemistry, Physics and other libraries and inventoried the Art Library completely. Information goes from a hand-held device directly into the record in SIRSI from which they can generate reports such as items which are not barcoded, not in the system, need preservation attention etc. Will be able to generate lists e.g., items needing preservation attention. At Art, they will create a list of all items not in the database, ask bibliographers to determine whether to keep. If so, will create an enhanced brief record, with full cataloging produced later. Dana and Robeson are also working on this project. After Art is completed, Chemistry, Physics and Alexander will be inventoried.

Item-type Task Force - over the summer we will change the information indicated by item type. Will indicate if item is a book, dvd, periodical, microform, etc., and whether it circulates (Yes/No). Information will appear in the public record. If item type indicates that item does not circulate - the system will not permit it to go out. Bob Warwick and Andy Martinez will present a Brown-Bag lunch at the end of May - dealing with this change and its implications.

360 Counter - we will also be implementing this Serials Solution product at no additional cost. It will provide us with data such as number of simultaneous users of a database or journal, number of sessions or searches, - can get information by title, subject. There will be training for selectors since we will be able to log in ourselves to get the data.

6. CDC Update and Budget Planning

If, as discussed earlier, cuts in our budget approach 25%, it will devastate our collections and services. There is no way that even the most careful planning can keep a cut of this magnitude from crippling the libraries' ability to support research and instruction. We were encouraged to discuss this with our faculties and suggest that they write to Vice-President Furmanski urging him to fund library resources. Even if the cuts amount to less than 25% will still have to make major cuts in periodicals and databases. We will discontinue most microfilm newspaper subscriptions and many reference subscriptions.

We are cautiously using some non-state funds to pay for periodicals - but that amounts to only $290,000 for this year. We could possibly do that with other funds to maintain resources. The point was made, however that we should stop moving stuff around to camouflage the disastrous results of cutbacks and let the users see the results of all of the cuts. NJKI mitigated some of the pain of prior budget cuts as did the use of temporary funds. But NJKI is gone - it provided 21% of our journal titles.

We have not been able to afford electronic book packages. The use of the subscription model - favored by publishers - makes it difficult for us to make a commitment with our uncertain funding. Additional complication - some periodicals are now making material available only to members or print subscribers so that our online version is not complete.

Another factor that makes cutting difficult is lack of guidance on disciplinary priorities by the University Administration. This means that we may have to make our cuts "across the board". It was suggested that we look at which departments have been able to continue hiring to see what University priorities are.

There was discussion of whether liaisons should contact our faculties directly or whether a letter should come directly to faculty or chairmen, from Bob or Marianne, addressing the critical nature of prospective budget cuts. It was agreed that Bob would draft a letter to be signed either by him or by Marianne, and that liaisons would be asked to forward to our constituents. He will try to get it to us as early as possible.

Technical Services is looking again at print duplicates - there are still a substantial number. Journals available in more than one database are another challenge. Some records in IRIS are misleading as multiple URL's link to different years and do not represent actual duplication.

Womack reported that we will probably be able to keep Business Source Premier by cancelling many print business subscriptions.

Sewell reported that our consortia - NERL, Vale and PAlinet have done a lot of the negotiations for us that we may now have to do ourselves. Sewell suggests that we may need to develop a policy of not paying for databases on a FTE basis since the size of the university exposes us to cripplingly high prices. Gracemary's group will prepare a priority list of high priced packages. Will try to negotiate for packages "as is" with an option not to accept new titles. If we do let some subscriptions lapse as of July 1 when NJKI is gone, we can anticipate outcry as well as an enormous impact on ILL processing. There is some support for letting subscriptions lapse in the summer, both to emphasize how bad the cuts are, and to allow the possibility of restoring those subscriptions by the Fall semester. Suggested: note in record and on ILL page indicating access lost due to "lack of funding".

Noted also that Searchlight searches several NJKI titles so would have to be revamped.

Meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.

Respectfully submitted,
Helen Hoffman

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