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Overview of Draft 2014/15 Collections Budget Plan

The Libraries’ collection budget for 2013/14 is $3,620,922. Journal subscriptions comprise 55%, books 20%, and databases 25% of that total. For 2014/15, we plan to implement the following reductions:

Library Collections Budget Reductions 2014-2015 Reductions
Books $174,000
Databases $79,158
Journals $108,468

We hope that all faculty and students will understand that serious reductions in the collections budget have to be made this year. The effects of these cuts will be felt campus-wide; however, everyone should be assured that the Libraries will continue to provide access to the vast majority of journals, databases, and other resources that have been available in the past, and that we will continue to provide excellent public services for faculty and students, including a very efficient interlibrary loan service for books and journal articles.

The cancellation plan on this site is NOT an action plan; it is a draft that is open for discussion, and we expect that changes will be made. The draft was created by a group of librarians with significant collections responsibilities. In deciding which titles to include in the draft cancellation plan, the group looked at many factors, including quality, cost, recent usage, availability of similar information sources at UNCG, recent inflation rates, relevance to curriculum and/or research, and impact.

What to do if the cancellation lists include items you consider indispensable

We welcome comments from any faculty member at any time. But, in order to meet the budget reduction target, we can not remove an item from the cancellation list unless we replace it with another item of equal value. We would be happy to meet with any academic department (or a group of their representatives) to discuss options for swapping cancellations. For example, a department could potentially choose to cancel two $500 journals in order to save a higher priority $1000 journal. Or perhaps they’d prefer to cut their book budget by an additional $1000 so that the journal can be saved.

Guidelines for swaps

  • A department can only swap their own items. A humanities department can’t say “save my journal and cancel this cell biology title instead.”
  • If a department is proposing the cancellation of an interdisciplinary journal, we’ll need to talk to other departments.
  • Any swaps need to be formally requested by the department head or their designee.
  • Before seriously considering any swaps, a department should request a meeting with Beth Bernhardt, Assistant Dean for Collections and Scholarly Communications. Beth can provide context, lists of swappable items, and price and usage data.
  • Ideally, requests for swaps should be made by May 16, if possible. Faculty feedback is welcome at any time, but due to the timing of the renewal cycles, we may not be able to implement swaps requested after May 16.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve heard that some libraries save money by joining with other libraries to purchase materials together. Can we save money by doing that?
The UNCG Libraries currently participate in many consortia and library groups. UNCG is an active leader in group purchasing; our librarians founded and run the Carolina Consortium, which collectively saves 150 libraries over $240 million per year. Through these groups, UNCG is able to leverage $1 of expenditures to get $8 in content. Unfortunately, if we have to cut $1 spent through a consortium, the effect of that cut is magnified.
NCSU and UNC Chapel Hill have some of the same databases and journals that UNCG has. Can we cancel our subscriptions and just use theirs for free?
No, we can't. That would violate legal contracts with content providers.
Why are you targeting collections? Can’t you cut other things?
In responding to the unprecedented budget cuts of 2013/14 and 2014/15, the UNCG Libraries have made every effort to protect the collections budget as much as possible. None of the Libraries’ 2013/14 budget cuts were assigned to collections. Instead, we made difficult cuts to equipment, travel, supplies, student wages, purchased services, and other similar expenses. We also eliminated 4 vacant, full-time positions. For 2014/15, we are planning to eliminate 5 additional vacant positions and make even deeper cuts to equipment, travel, supplies, student wages, and other operating expenses.
But, even though we are assigning most library budget cuts outside of collections, we still face a projected 9% cut to our collections for 2014/15. There are two reasons painful collections cuts are unavoidable. First, the magnitude of our budget reduction prevents us from taking all of those cuts outside of collections. Second, inflation for serials, books, and databases would require us to add $180,000 per year simply to maintain our current collections level. It is the combination of the cumulative effect of years of unfunded inflationary increases, plus the size of the current budget reduction, that cause us to plan for a 9% collections cut in 2014/15.