First Priority: Instructional Resources
The Library's goal has been to support both the instructional and the research missions of the University. But as the librarians respond to the budget mandates, our first priority has to be protecting those resources that are most indispensable to instruction.
To be good information stewards with the budget cuts we are facing, we are looking at everything we spend money on, some of which are behind the scenes to most users. Some cost-savings that have already been implemented include:
- Boxing older print journals instead of binding which saved about $30,000 last year.
- Eliminating duplication of resources, such as journals that we have both in print and online.
- Identifying resources with extremely low (or no) usage. The cancellation of one such database saved us $32,000.
- Reexamining the "big deal" databases, which often include hundreds of journals with very low or no use. For example, we replaced two Wiley databases, costing a total of $135,000, with independent subscriptions to the most used titles, realizing substantial savings. The other journals remain available through our BeachReach interlibrary service.
To combat rising prices, we are negotiating more aggressively with publishers. While some publishers are recognizing the situation and working with us, others are not.
Last, but not least, we welcome (and need) faculty input. Each of your departments has designated a faculty member to serve as a liaison with the department’s librarian. This faculty liaison will serve as our main point of contact, allowing us to consult with your departments about these budget matters.
Discussions and planning are ongoing. Feel free to contact your librarian with questions or comments. You can also contact Carol Perruso, the library's Collection Development Officer or Associate Dean Tracey Mayfield with questions and comments.
How the Library is Coping with Budgetary Constraints
CSULB is facing unprecedented budget cuts, and the University Library is being affected along with the rest of the campus community. To accommodate an ever-shrinking budget and steep increases in the cost of subscriptions, the Library is undergoing a major review of its journals and databases, and cancelling a number of subscriptions. With this web site, we hope to keep the campus informed and to invite faculty and student input.
Funding for University Library materials comes from the Chancellor's Office, the University budget, and Lottery funds:
- The Chancellor's Office pays the full cost of several very high-use databases, such as PsycInfo, America History & Life, ERIC, the CINAHL health database, Oxford Art Online, ABI/Inform Complete business database, Biological Abstracts, JSTOR and LexisNexis Academic. It pays most of the cost of Academic Search Complete, the most-used database on campus. It also negotiates CSU-wide contracts for substantial cost savings on many resources. These resources are unlikely to be affected by this year's budget cuts.
- The University has augmented the library's perennially flat base budget for several years with one-time funds from the Academic Affairs Division, and state Restoration funds.
- Lottery funding has paid for a substantial part of library materials for several years.
Lottery, Academic Affairs augmentation and Restoration funds have been the only way we have been able to afford the cost increases for electronic resources--commonly 5% or more per year. We are now facing the loss of one-time funds and a reduction in Lottery money. In addition, we face substantial cuts to our budget, similar to what every college faces.
In sum, this translates to about a 30% cut in funding for library materials in one year, or about $700,000.
These cuts had to be identified by early summer. There are two reasons for this deadline:
- The licenses for most databases require substantial lead times for cancellation.
- Most individual journals must be cancelled by Aug. 31 for the following calendar year. Because we want faculty input, and many faculty are not as available in the summer, we started working on identifying the cuts during the spring semester, and librarians had discussions with academic departments about the potential cuts. The "good" news about this long lead time is that most cancelled titles will still be available until Jan. 1, 2013.
In the coming days, we will be adding pages to this web site, including lists of cancelled journals and databases. If you have questions, please contact Library Associate Dean Tracey Mayfield Tracey.Mayfield@csulb.edu or me, Carol Perruso, the Collection Development Officer Carol.Perruso@csulb.edu.
Collection Development Officer, University Library
What You Can Do
If a resource you use in your teaching or research is cancelled, here are some other avenues you might consider:
- Try another resource. If you are accustomed to using one database, check the Research Guide for your department for alternatives. One alternative for all databases is Academic Search Complete.
- Try Google Scholar. While you will find little full text here, it will help you locate articles or books that we can then borrow for you from other libraries.
- Visit another library. Every UC and CSU campus will be adjusting to budget cuts a little differently. Try one of the other campuses in the Los Angeles area. You can check their library web sites for the resource before you go.
- Consider an individual subscription, if the source is for your research. What might cost the library several thousands of dollars can often be purchased for a small fraction of the institutional cost. If you are applying for grant funding for your research, consider including this cost in the grant budget.
- Tell students to contact your department's librarian for help, or to come to the Reference Desk. Undergraduate students' research needs, especially, often can be met with alternative resources.
- Give us specifics of the need for the resource. If it is used for a course or assignment, let your department's librarian know. The librarian may be able to suggest alternatives, or may be able to help you adjust the assignment to allow use of another source. If not, it will still help us understand your needs as we continue to review resources.
- Share with us alternative resources so we can spread the word. You can do this emailing your department's librarian, or posting a comment on the Research Guide for your discipline
If you have questions or concerns about cancellations in your subject area, please contact the faculty member in your department who has been assigned to be a liaison with the library.
Or, contact your department's librarian.
- February-April 2012: Librarians gather information on journal collection overlap and usage statistics.
- March-April: Librarians communicate with faculty regarding which journal subscriptions are "instructionally indispensible."
- April: Proposed journal cancellations sent to the Collection Development Officer.
- May: Review of proposed cancellations by librarians, faculty, and the dean.
- May-June: Final journal cancellations are determined.
- Fall 2011-Summer 2012: Librarians evaluate databases. List of proposed cancellations reviewed by Dean and Associate Dean.
- July – January 2013: Cancellations take effect.