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Library's racks depleted by budget cuts

By Zach Colick
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, August 27, 2004
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As a result of three years of flat budgets and increasing prices for journals, databases and books, the UA Main Library must reduce these resources to satisfy the UA budget.

According to librarian Doug Jones, the library must reduce spending on information resources by approximately $680,000 over the next two years with this year's cuts totaling $326,000 and 2005 cuts adding up to $352,000.

Jones said that keeping these resources around "didn't fit into the university's focus of spending."

Money is needed to keep these academic resources available to faculty and students, but canceling journals and some databases had to be done in order to stay within the UA budget, Jones said.

"We're waiting to see if the administration can find some additional funding," he said.

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But no additional funding has been raised and Jones said that new funding will not happen anytime soon.

The library's Web site listing possible cuts states that Sept. 15 is the deadline for receiving feedback from faculty and students. Final decisions on which items to cancel will be made by library staff from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.

Librarians at the main library have given students and faculty one last chance to voice their opinions and to save the databases and journals they wish to continue using.

Lists of possible cuts from the UA's Main library are now available online. Yesterday, the librarians put up a notice on the library homepage asking students to leave comments on which resources they use most to safeguard them from being taken off the shelf.

"Teams representing different subject areas are soliciting feedback from the university community," Jones said. "This is the last chance for those who haven't seen it or understood the significance of this matter."

Some students haven't heard of the impending cuts threatening the Main Library, but believe that the cuts won't affect their education.

"As long as SABIO or EBSCO Host is there, it doesn't matter to me. You can find anything on SABIO," said Jordan Secore, a media arts junior.

But, Secore said he wished he had known about the journals before the cuts so he could use them for assignments.

Students and faculty can access the library Web page listing the proposed cuts with their UA Net ID and password.

By Oct. 1, the library will submit the finalized 2005 cancellation list to publishers. The cancellations for the 2005 academic year will become effective January 2005.

The same will be done on Oct. 1, 2005, when the library plans to submit its finalized 2006 cancellation list to publishers, effective January 2006.

The criteria which was used to target journals and databases for cancellation included a high rate of price increase (25% or more over 3 years), low use by faculty and students (as indicated by number of citations or circulation), duplication in two or more formats (electronic/print/microform), and duplication of content (overlapping coverage of databases).

In the next two years, librarians expect 3,000 journals, 7,000 books and $250,000 for electronic indexes will be absent from the library.

Areas ranging from science and engineering, fine arts, humanities, social sciences and undergraduate services, will experience a 16 percent reduction with the new budget cuts, Jones said.

Jones said that the library's goals are to provide students, faculty and departments around campus the proper tools in order to learn in the classroom.

"We're here to support the entire campus community," he said.

Jones knows that the budget cuts ridding the campus of vital academic resources will hurt departments around the UA, not allowing faculty to teach in the way they want to.

"The departments will miss them (resources)," Jones said. "The library simply can't afford it, so departments just won't be able to have (these resources.)"

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