Regional
7:25 pm
Thu September 16, 2010

NMSU Library Cuts Materials Budget 27 Percent

Las Cruces – The NMSU Library launched a large scale materials reduction project in
spring 2010. Inflation rates for journals and databases continue to
increase. The funding lines used to supplement the Library's materials
budget, including indirect cost revenues and General Obligation Bond
funds, have decreased. In order to balance the materials budget, a 27 per
cent ($575,000) reduction of the materials budget was necessary.

The following criteria were used to guide decision-making for this
project: high cost-low use titles, low cost-low use titles, titles with
patterns of large cost increases over time and titles for which full-text
access is available through other database subscriptions. Library staff
worked together with other campus faculty to prioritize titles to minimize
consequences for teaching and research.

The cancellations involve 723 print and electronic journals, databases,
standing orders and microforms totaling $578,311.26 (in 2010 subscription
prices). After December 2010, NMSU will no longer have access to these
subscriptions. In addition, students, faculty and staff will lose access
to over 1,300 journals from the Springer and Elsevier/Academic Press
publishing groups. In order to make the necessary cancellations,
multi-year and consortial packages with these publishers were
discontinued. A list of titles from these discontinued packages is located
at http://nmsu.libguides.com/BudgetCuts/.

The Library will continue to offer information delivery services such as
Request It! but these services are vulnerable in a climate where the
majority of academic libraries are also cutting subscriptions. Although
interlibrary loan is an excellent way to provide access to
infrequently-used articles, it can quickly become very expensive if large
numbers of users request articles from the same journal resulting in the
Library's paying copyright clearance or other fees to obtain information.
For these reasons, interlibrary loan and document delivery alone will not
offset journal cancellations.

The NMSU Library is not alone in facing this problem. Other academic
libraries face similar challenges. Unless fundamental changes occur in the
scholarly communication market, faculty, students and staff everywhere
face a future of less access to information and at higher costs.

The NMSU Library is working to strengthen its ability to access
information in this challenging environment. It is investigating new
partnerships with other libraries to maximize access to resources while
minimizing costs. It is also exploring digital preservation services to
sustain archival access to its subscribed electronic collections. The NMSU
Library looks to the successful passage of General Obligation Bond B,
which will help offset inflation by approximately $313,223 for FY12. It
will also continue to investigate alternative revenue streams needed to
offset inflation and limit future cancellations. However, it anticipates
that further cancellations will be necessary in the 2011-2012 academic
year.

The Library thanks the community for its support with these difficult
decisions. More information is available at
http://nmsu.libguides.com/BudgetCuts/.