April 28, 2016
On April 21 the Board of Governors approved the University’s operating budget. The budget includes a favourable response to Western Libraries’ fall planning submission, which incorporated a request for increased support of the acquisitions budget to mitigate the negative impact of a weak Canadian dollar and the high annual publishers’ increases to subscription prices. In addition to a $500,000 base increase for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, the institution has committed $1.1 million of one-time funding in 2016/17 to offset the deficit incurred in 2015/16 due to the unfavourable exchange rate. This support will allow Western Libraries to start 2016/17 with minimum or no deficit and help address the annual price inflation, but it will not alleviate the need to continue to find cost savings through reductions in our serials subscriptions through 2016/17 and beyond. Western Libraries and Institutional Planning and Budgeting have also formulated a long term plan to manage the impact of currency fluctuations in the future.
Librarians continue with the serials subscriptions review process with an eye to propose cancellation of resources that do not provide good value for our money. We are consulting with faculty to assist with the ongoing serials review in various ways, including a faculty survey. The input and thoughtful comments of the almost 500 respondents to this survey are helpful as we continue our serials review. The information gathered through consultation will be taken into consideration by the librarians along with other criteria. Our full set of criteria for reviewing serial subscriptions can be found in our previous news article posted in December. A new web page has been created to provide background information regarding the challenges posed by the currency exchange rate and to provide updated information regarding cancelled titles.
If you have particular questions about the review process for your area or a concern about any cancellation decisions made, please contact your subject librarian. Also, please feel free to contact Catherine Steeves, the Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian, or Harriet Rykse, the Acting Assistant University Librarian for Information Resources and Access, with questions about the acquisitions budget.