Libraries Biannual Review of Collections Begins

The University Libraries begin their four-week process of reviewing ongoing collection subscriptions.
The University Libraries begin their four-week process of reviewing ongoing collection subscriptions.

The University Libraries begins the four-week process to review the ongoing collection subscriptions (databases/journals/ebooks) to make reductions to the permanent collection budget as a component of Phase Two of the 2021-2023 budget reductions. Reviews of this type are done every semester and are based on data collected on the usage of materials and communication with departments about essential resources to support their programs.

The Libraries has been able to use a combination of strategies to manage the impact of the 2021-2023 budget reductions, including successfully negotiating with some publishers for reduced annual increases, and shifting more recurring collections expenditures to donor-endowed funds. However, this year, the Libraries must identify additional permanent reductions to recurring collections expenditures.

Casey Hoeve, associate professor and Head of Content & Collections says that the Libraries review has reached a point of making some very challenging decisions about the ongoing costs for resources making it even more critical that input from faculty is collected along with the statistical analysis.

“Our library faculty looks at how materials are being utilized to support teaching and research needs and to make the faculty in the Colleges aware of the high costs relative to the low usage,” explained Hoeve, “We also make sure there’s no underlying problem with access to the resource and give the departments more time to review their needs when requested.”

There is still good news about the Libraries collections budget according to Charlene Maxey-Harris, Associate Director of Collections and Resource Management, saying that the Libraries will have funds available to respond to individual requests for one-time costs on books, DVDs, digital collections and course materials.

“The Libraries BTAA and University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries partnerships also increase our buying power to get major databases and ebook packages which provides cost savings over time,” explained Maxey-Harris, “and our access to the extensive network of libraries around the world means we can provide Nebraska faculty and students articles within 72 hours and books within a week via interlibrary loan.”

Maxey-Harris points out that the landscape is changing with the increase in publishers and scholarly societies making their journals “open” for everyone to read, but libraries support this access through our subscriptions.

The Libraries have set up a guide to the journal and database review and have a website outlining collection policies, agreements, and other information.