Update on Budget for Library Collections

by Tamara Frost Trujillo, Senior Associate Dean & Coordinator for Collection Development

The FY05/06 allocation for library materials is $1,776,000. This figure reflects a $400,000 reduction from what was the base in FY03/04. This is the second year that the library materials budget is taking a reduction of this size. (Other parts of the Library’s operation e.g. staffing, equipment, supplies, have also been reduced by a similar amount.) The allocation figure for library materials does not reflect any increase for inflation (i.e. the increased cost of library materials in all formats). The inflation amount for library materials is typically between 8 and 10% for periodicals and 3 to 5% for books and other library materials. The reduction in buying power has been in part ameliorated by an allocation of lottery monies last year of $120,000 (and is again anticipated this year). The additional lottery funds are used to offset the reductions noted above. The overall impact for the past two years has been a loss of buying power equal to $800,000 plus inflation.

There is good news, and it is that, to date, periodical subscriptions have been the least affected in that we have maintained subscriptions and have been able to absorb the inflation costs by eliminating primarily duplicate format materials. The review of print periodical subscriptions by subject librarians is continuing for those titles for which we have identified an electronic version. Also underway is a review of “print only” periodical subscriptions for which the usage appears to be low and there may no longer be a need. Without increases to the library materials budget, however, we can expect to initiate review and cancellations of periodical subscriptions beyond duplicate format and low use materials.

The not good news is that allocations this fiscal year to individual librarians to purchase books, non-book materials and other library materials, other than periodicals, indexes and abstracts, for academic departments and programs have been reduced by an average of 55% compared to last year. The Library purchased 10,536 new books in FY03/04; 8,733 new books in FY04/05; and will acquire an estimated 4,000 new books in FY05/06. Without a budget increase for library materials and continued inflation, the Library will be able to acquire even fewer materials in the future. The impact of this reduction in one year or even two may not be readily felt, but the effect is cumulative with the availability of some materials being lost forever or only available at a much higher price. Perhaps the most important question is what will be the effect of fewer library resources on the quality of teaching and research at CSU Sacramento and how will the work of students and faculty be impacted this year, next year and five years from now.

Please be assured that considerable discussion and study is being given and will continue to be given to this issue so that the reductions, however long they continue, will have the least negative effects possible on our primary users.

Questions can be directed to Tamara Frost Trujillo at tftrujillo@csus.edu or 278-7508.