The University of California’s library system must expand its shared library services to ease the impact of an upcoming budget cut of as much as 21 percent in the next six years, a UC-created task force says.
To deal with these cuts, the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee’s Library Planning Task Force urges several strategies, including purchase of readily shareable digital formats whenever possible.
The 25-page draft report also points to a looming shortage of shelf space in the system’s libraries and offers a number of specific budget reduction proposals, including a move to reduce duplication of collections when possible and a budget reduction timetable involving an immediate $15 million reduction in 2012-13.
The most promising strategy “is to develop and manage collectively an expanded portfolio of shared library services,” according to the report.
Noting great time pressure because significant budget cuts are expected to occur in the upcoming fiscal year, the task force recommends that the libraries:
- Set an initial target of $15 million in increased efficiencies in 2012-13 by developing detailed plans for systemwide and shared services during the upcoming fiscal year. One of the means of arriving at that number would be by “management of collection growth and conservation of library stack space.”
- Target another $25 million in increased efficiencies, for a total of about $40 million by 2013-14.
- Identify an additional $12 million in cuts by developing plans for more systemwide and shared services to be implemented in 2014-15.
While the task force outlines a road to possible cost-cutting efficiencies, it also is blunt about the effect of the continued cutting.
“The adverse effects of the anticipated budget cuts … cannot be entirely avoided,” the report states. “A reduction in library budgets of 20 percent or more will inevitably have an adverse effect on library services and support for the university’s academic programs.”
"U. of California Libraries Must Increase Sharing to Weather Cuts" & Full Text of Library Planning Task Force Interim Report
Filed by May 13, 2011on