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Budget Disaster response summary (long)

(Apologies for cross-posting)

Thanks very much to all those who responded to my question: "What 
would you do if your materials budget were cut by 50%?"  The 
responses are summarized below; first, the top eleven responses 
all of which were mentioned multiple times (as indicated within 
parentheses); next the Honorable Mentions, which were mentioned 
once each; last, the Most Whimsical responses.  My editorial 
comments are in square brackets.

As I mentioned in my original posting, I'll be incorporating this 
information into a future article for my _Against the Grain_ 

And to those who may be wondering: no, we haven't had a 50% cut 
in the materials budget at my library.  But I'm trying to 
completely rethink the way we do collection development here (or 
whether we should be doing collection development at all), and I 
thought that the responses to this question might help me shake 
loose some ideas.  They have for me, and maybe they'll be helpful 
to others as well.

Top 11 Responses

*	Cancel least used or highest cost-per-use journals/databases/SOs
*	Cancel journals/databases least relevant to the current
 	curriculum (x7)
*	Cancel format duplications (x6)
*	Cut serials budget itself (which may mean invoking budget-out
 	clause for Big Deals) (x6)
*	Cut or eliminate book and/or A/V budget (x5)
*	Start fundraising (x4)
*	Freeze all new purchases (x2)
*	Cut memberships (x2)
*	Cancel all microform (x2)
*	Stop binding (x2)
*	Offer larger vendors a choice between outright cancellation and
 	a much lower price (x2) [A vendor respondent also
 	mentioned the importance of working with vendors in the
 	event of a budget catastrophe]

Honorable mentions

*	Cancel most expensive, even if more heavily used
*	Cancel titles that overlap in focus
*	Cancel those with greatest price hikes in recent years
*	Cancel all subs that duplicate content available through
*	Shift money from materials budget to the subsidization of
 	document delivery
*	Cut Elsevier subscriptions (because it's time for them to have a
 	"rude awakening")
*	Cancel all subscriptions, then start from scratch with a small
 	list of essentials
*	Cancel all standing orders, buying future volumes only as needed
*	Cancel all print-only journals [!]
*	Drop popular subscriptions
*	Switch annual subs to every 2 or 3 years
*	Publicize availability of OA titles
*	Stop buying new databases
*	Paperback pref
*	Establish a PR program to publicize effects of cuts [though I'd
 	say that if the effects have to be brought to people's attention
 	by means of a PR program, then that may be evidence that
 	the cuts were needed]
*	Anonymous: "If the cuts were political, we might very well cut
 	the electronic resources to drum up outcries and
 	hopefully restore the monies." [I like the way this
 	person thinks!]
*	Pressure superiors to negotiate with university administration
*	Get tough with patrons in re lost books, fines, etc.
*	Buy more used books
*	Sell unwanted donations
*	"Carefully examine all invoices for possible double billings,
 	errors, refunds, delayed pubs, etc."  [!]
*	Lobby for other library money to be redirected to collection
*	More cooperative purchasing with other state institutions

Most Whimsical:

*	Spend more time playing the banjo
*	Quit
*	Apply for Hinari/Agora status [EPSCoR status gives you a head

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273