Library and Information Science
Objective: After dealing with three major budget cuts in FY03, The Lamar Soutter Library faced additional reductions for FY04. After brainstorming, the management team realized that drastic journal and staffing cuts were on the horizon. Concerns for the collection and for continued customer service called for creative solutions. The poster will examine the measures taken to preserve a quality journals collection.
Methods: After compiling and sorting print and online usage statistics gathered over an eighteen-month period, low-use titles were identified for possible cancellation in order to meet the revised budget guidelines. A spreadsheet was prepared including information concerning annual subscription/ licensing costs, publisher, publication frequency, appearance on core titles lists, availability via databases, inclusion in aggregation packages, subscription requirements for electronic packages, availability in nearby affiliate institutions, and usage and cost-per-use statistics. The list was refined over several months, and distributed to the faculty for input. The director of library services attended various committee meetings to answer questions and gather feedback. A final list of titles, with total projected cost savings, was compiled. There were elements of both "art" and "science" in this process.
Results: The results of this process were unexpected. The faculty had been involved in the process, and understood the ramifications of massive journal cuts. As a group, the faculty Council protested to the School Administration about the planned cuts--and the administration gave the needed funds to the library to pay for the journals slated to be cut.
Conclusions: Although a "happy ending" is not always possible, a carefully planned review process, utilizing as much hard data as possible, and keeping the users informed at each stage, can benefit the library as it seeks to provide quality resources in support of the school's mission.