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Re: Budget Disaster

Reply to Rick Anderson's inquiry:

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Subject: RE: Budget disaster

Feel free to use, but I'd prefer to remain anonymous. Thanks!

We have usage stats back to 2001 as well as a few internal surveys of perceived usefulness of all our electronic resources. I imagine we would pull together a small team of librarians who would attempt to cut that budget in half (or more), based on data that we've been gathering and then involve everyone else in the library in informing the campus community of our decisions. We're fortunate in that we have several what I call "luxury items" that would probably take the brunt of the cuts and allow us to keep core electronic resources. We're also fortunate in that some of the core full text resources are funded at a state level. So those resources would be saved without any impact on our budget, which would also help when tackling the print serials.

Of course, we'd also have to cut into print serials and standing orders as we still have a large budget for those. Those would be more difficult to cut, in my opinion, as we've had many of those far longer than the electronic resources. Depending on how all those cuts went, I suppose, would determine how much we'd have to cut our book budget. But, that is the smallest budget item, so it may feel less pain.

Ultimately, though, the reason for the cuts may determine which sub-budgets receive more cutting. If the cuts were political, we might very well cut the electronic resources to drum up outcries and hopefully restore the monies. If the cuts were unavoidable and if all departments, institutions, etc were facing similar cuts, then we'd probably seek the least painful cuts and try to keep as much electronic as possible.