This year (2014-2015) we engaged in crucial conversations with campus administration and faculty about ongoing challenges the library faces in providing access to scholarly information, including costly journals, that are needed to support research and teaching at UCSB.  To offset the decline of purchasing power due to high inflation, for several years the collections budget has been augmented by temporary annual allocations by the EVC and Chancellor.  This year, following recommendations from the Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Budget Strategy, the Chancellor made a commitment to permanently augment the library’s collections budget by $750,000.  The EVC is also continuing some allocations in temporary funds. We are grateful for this reprieve, which will allow us to maintain our current level of acquisitions for the next couple of years while we seek a longer-term, sustainable solution for funding access to scholarly information at a world-class research institution.

Impact of Inflation on Purchasing Power

With ongoing high inflation in the cost of scholarly resources, the collections funding situation remains critical.  As we continue the conversation about budget challenges, we also continue to investigate strategies for maximizing our limited collection dollars to provide the greatest value for our campus.  Analysis of budget expenditures and data on usage of our online collections will help us align funding with resources that support the best outcomes for research and learning at UCSB.  We are also exploring new and alternative methods of information access under development in the academic information marketplace, and we continue our collaborative collection-building in partnership with other UC libraries.  Responsible stewardship of collections funds also requires engagement and collaboration with faculty so that we can make decisions that are informed by faculty needs and preferences.  We welcome your interest, questions, and support as we continue this conversation.

For more background and information, see the October 2014 report of the University Librarian: State of Funding for UCSB Library Collections (October 2014)