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October 18, 2010 Update (pdf)

Dear FAU Community:

Four years ago, the Libraries' budget for resources (books, journals, etc.) was $3,698,956.  As a consequence of budget reductions during 2008-09, that figure was reduced to $3,042,011, and for the past two fiscal years (including the current one, 2010-11), the materials budget has been $3,041,011.

During the past 3 years, therefore, after undergoing a major reduction, our materials budget has remained stable.  What has not remained stable, however, is the cost of library materials, which inflate in cost far beyond the general rate of inflation, i.e. at about 5-8 percent per year.

Our steady-state budget, coupled with the increases in the cost of what we purchase, has resulted in a situation in which our resources, even though they are not any less than last year, are no longer enough to allow us to purchase what we have heretofore been purchasing.  Indeed, we reached that point in 2009-10, and had to defer some payments to this current fiscal year, which of course magnifies their impact now because we will be paying twice this year for certain things.

To take account of the loss of purchasing power in our resources, we are currently reducing by $500,000 the resources we are acquiring.  Our selectors have worked hard with faculty in every college to prioritize our purchases, in order to do as little harm as possible to the university© s research endeavors and teaching needs. 

Reducing acquisitions is inherently difficult, and clearly we would rather be adding resources than subtracting them, at a time when the university is growing.  We look forward to a time when our resources will again increase.  The current exercise should allow us to experience several  years without further reductions to our resources, provided that there are no mid-year cuts this year, or major budget reductions for 2011-12.

The situation we are experiencing is not unique to FAU;  university libraries nation-wide have experienced similar problems, and many are in much worse shape than we are. The two organizational statements below give you a fuller idea of the magnitude of the problem. The  FAU Libraries Electronic Resources Databases Ranking Project includes a list of probable cancellations at this time, and Cancelled Databases lists the subscription databases already cancelled.

We thank you for your understanding and support, and we will continue to meet your needs to the best of our ability.

William Miller, Dean
August 4, 2010

Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis

International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) - Statement on the Global Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Consortial Licenses

Cancelled Databases

FAU Libraries Electronic Resources/Databases Ranking Project

Final Journal Cancellation List (Titles cancelled in 2009)

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