Archive for November, 2008

Budget Q & A, Number 1

Monday, November 24th, 2008

As one would anticipate in this complicated climate, there are some questions that my last post has generated. Let me here try to start to answer some of them.

Q: All of the budget numbers are really confusing. What are they based on and what do they include?

A: These are our best estimates at this point on what the numbers may be. These will change as we move forward and know more. At this point, think about the numbers as an indicator of impact rather than specific dollars. (Note the post on mid-year reductions.) The impact is HUGE.

Q: The figure you cite as an example in the third paragraph, $1.3 million for the College Library: what did that cover?

A: This figure covers the direct costs of the operation of the College Library, including salaries and operations. The acquisitions budget is separate and totals about $280,000. CLICC is not included in the College Library budget as it has its own budget.

Q: I’m sure that the idea of layoffs has already crossed most people’s minds, so will there be layoffs?

A: We are not planning for layoffs at this point, but we are being very cautious about filling positions. We have already made the decision to not fill some, and there will be more as we have retirements and departures. We may have to face that reality when we know the final numbers, but keep in mind that we are planning now; how we alter our plans will likely change as we know more.

Q: Is there a hiring freeze?

A: No, there is not a solid hiring freeze. But as noted above, I have said a number of times, we are being very cautious about filling positions.

Q: Will the Library consider allowing staff to reduce their salaries by some amount to help with gaps in funding?

A: There are no such plans currently under consideration by the Library, but the University may have proposals that it is considering about which we have not been briefed.

Q: There’s been some mention in the news of mandatory furlough days (unpaid) for state employees. If that applies to us, would the money saved count toward the total we need to be cut?

A: While I don’t have any specifics about this proposal, we have usually been allowed to keep the funds that we are able to save.

Q: If we underspend this year, can we carry forward those savings to next year, to reduce the effective cut?

A: Yes, this in fact allowed us to make the “pay out” on additional costs for energy and deferred maintenance this year so that we can better phase the impact in over time.

Q: What are other UC libraries doing (particularly Berkeley and San Diego) to plan for anticipated cuts–any strategies that we could copy?

A: At the meeting of the University Librarians last week, we shared our budget situations and all campuses are planning for up to 10% reductions in their operating budgets with varying scenarios. Some campuses have already had to take mid-year cuts (UCLA’s Chancellor has covered those to this point) and we are all looking for the best ideas.

A number of the campuses expressed interest in our strategy of planning for 90% that we have requested in our work plans for next year. A number of the campuses have indicated that they are no longer protecting the materials budget.

We still await further campus directives, although there are plenty of decisions that will be made in collaboration with campus administration. UCLA has a budget planning process, and we are just at the beginning, awaiting further instructions.

Please keep your questions coming, and I will do my best to keep you informed of where we are in the process as we move along.

News About a Mid-Year Cut

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost issued a memorandum to campus officials today noting that the University may be faced with a further reduction imposed by State actions. The Governor has called a special session of the legislature and has proposed $4.5 billion in increased revenue and $4.5 billion in increased expenditure reductions. The impact on UC in his proposal is $65.5 million in additional cuts for 2008-09 for a total mid-year reduction of $98.5 million. We are all waiting for the legislature to respond to this.

Based on the campus projects, UCLA’s share of the total $98.5 million mid-year reduction is $17.8 million. The Chancellor has agreed to absorb $11 million of this reduction and will allocate the remaining $6.7 million as a 1% across the board general fund budget reduction target. While it is possible that the Regents may discuss a mid-year increase in student fees, and the legislature may not support the governor’s proposal, it is prudent to further reduce expenditures this year. Should the additional reduction not materialize this reserve may help ameliorate further reductions in 2009-10.

The Library will move immediately to reserve the 1%, and we should all be careful to make no expenditures that are not critical.

Library Continues to Face Budget Shortfalls in 2009-10

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

The Library is moving forward with its planning on the budget for 2009-10 and it presents many challenges for us. In working toward a March deadline for submission to the campus, we are faced with some very difficult options and decisions. To give you an idea of the magnitude facing us a 1% cut would mean $369,000 would have to be identified; a 5% reduction would be $1.85 million; and a 10% reduction would be $3.7 million. In addition we must, on a permanent basis, plan for $908,000 in utilities, deferred maintenance, and benefits shortfalls that will not be covered by the campus. This base amount must come from our present allocations and will likely increase in the future. This increases the actual percentage of our operating budget that we must set aside or cut permanently at the least amount to be 1% or $1.8 million, a mid-range reduction would be 5% or $3.3 million and the highest would be a 10% reduction or $5.1 million.

This does not account for potential additional cuts in 2010-11 nor for the expected contributions that the library will need to make to the UC Retirement Fund on behalf of our staff.

To give you an idea of the impact, the total state fund expenditure for the College Library for 2007-08 was approximately $1.3 million. We are looking carefully at the 90% work plans submitted by units this year and will continue to explore scenarios for the future. I am very interested in the questions and suggestions that each of you may have as we continue this exploration. Please drop me an email or comment here so that others can weigh in. I would like this to be a very open discussion and welcome all suggestions and thoughts. This is a time for us all to pull together and ensure we continue to strive toward excellence.

Digital Library Federation Fall Forum

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

I just attended my second meeting of the Board of Directors of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) It was interesting to participate and was called on to join Carol Mandel from New York University in leading a discussion on “moving images.” I highlighted the work that our task group had completed on “Performance Capture” and forecast the next steps that I hope we will be able to take moving that forward. Carol spoke of the topic from five perspectives: readiness, selection, policy, standards, and models. There was a healthy discussion that I hope will lead to more work within DLF.

Susan Nutter led a discussion on mobile technologies and staff from North Carolina State addressed their plan for initial roll out of several services that may be delivered using these hand held devices. Jim Neal finished these programmatic introductions by bringing us all up to date on IP rights.

DLF President Wendy Lougee from the University of Minnesota briefed the board on the review of DLF and its program and purpose. It is expected that a special task force will report its findings to a special meeting of the Board of Directors now scheduled for late February or early March 2009.

Other operations reports, including an interesting update on Aquifer and web site development were presented by DLF staff. The Treasurer reported a healthy financial position.

The Forum kicked off with keynote addresses in the afternoon and the start of briefing panels that will be presented over the next two days.

UCLA Use of Creative Commons License Sets Standard

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I’m delighted to see that our colleagues at the University of Michigan Library have followed our lead in adding a Creative Commons license to their Web site. We took that step at the beginning of this year to make available all UCLA Library Web content, including tutorials, research guides, and subject bibliographies, for the broadest possible public use.

Early in 2008, the UCLA Library added a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License to its Web site. The license grants permission for non-commercial, attributed re-use of the content of all UCLA Library Web pages, including tutorials, research guides, and subject bibliographies.

Any usage is to be attributed as follows: Created by the UCLA Library and used with permission. The Regents of the University of California continue to hold copyright for all UCLA Library Web site content.

The UCLA Library has been extremely active in efforts to ensure broad public access to scholarly information, and we view adding the Creative Commons license to our Web site as part of that effort,. A message to all academic and public libraries: join UM and UCLA €“ add a Creative Commons license to your Web pages!

Library Participates in Sustainability Fair

Friday, November 7th, 2008


Richard Kim represented the Library to receive a bike for use by LIT and LCS staff, at last week’s Sustainability Fair. It was a competition, and Richard’s essay stressed how the bike could help LCS and LIT staff respond quickly to the many different library locations, from Kinross to YRL.