As I have mentioned in previous postings, the UCLA Library must reduce its operating budget by $1,830,021 in addition to the other reductions required for various other campus charges. These reductions are in addition to the planned furlough/salary savings.
Building on the foundation of our strategic plan, our primary commitment is to sustain the excellence of the Library, its staff, collections, and services. This commitment will be challenged during these next months and perhaps years as the resources made available to us will continue to shrink. It is important to remember that this will be a permanent reduction in our resource base. So we will be smaller.
As you all know, we have not filled vacancies for some time and have limited recruitments to a very few critical positions. That focus will continue into this budget year. We are recruiting for a Director of Special Collections as that position is critical to our plans to bring all of our special collections together in order to retain their strength and value to UCLA and the broader community.
Further budget reductions fall into the following categories:
Reduction in Acquisition of New Materials for the Collection: I have directed a hold-back of twenty-five percent of the Library’s acquisitions budget (from State Funds). This will impact all units and all aspects of our collection. We will attempt to sustain all of the joint purchase we are committed to through the California Digital Library. While this is a significant cut (the first such reduction in the Library’s history), we will make every effort to respond to high priority needs of faculty and programs for resources necessary to sustain UCLA’s research, teaching, and public service. Liaisons are encouraged to work with faculty to ensure that critical items are acquired in support of degree programs and critical research.
Reduction in Service Hours: The Library has resisted reducing library hours during all previous budget reductions, but now must face this reality. With the desire to provide an equity of access to all of our users, effective Fall quarter, the Biomedical Library, College Library, Science and Engineering Library in Boelter Hall, and the Research Library will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm, Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm; closed on Saturday and open Sunday 1:00 to 6:00 pm. Most other library units under the University Librarian will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. The Library will sustain 24/7 access to licensed and electronic resources and a full suite of web services and continue to strengthen and enhance this access. In addition to our licensed resources, faculty and students will have access to electronic reserves and reference provided through our consortial agreements.
Reduction in the Number of Service Outlets (branches) on the Campus: With the current reductions and potential reduction in funding in future years, we must now begin to examine how the Library can meet its campus commitments with fewer physical locations on the UCLA campus. Study teams will be appointed to examine the service and collection issues associated with closing the Arts and Chemistry libraries.
Exploration of a Fee for Interlibrary Loan: With the Library’s shrinking acquisitions budgets, it has less material to lend to other libraries, from which we derive lending fees. Our budget to borrow material on behalf of faculty and students is no longer covered by these lending fees. With the reduced acquisitions budget, we expect an increase in borrowing requests. If we do not address this challenge, savings from acquisitions reductions will be lost by our having to support more borrowing requests. During the fall term we will examine the implications of this situation.
Reduction in operating expense, travel, and other general expense: All units saw reductions in these amounts during the 2008-09 budget year; these will continue into this year and will likely be permanent going forward.
As planning progresses in each of these areas of reduction, I will keep you informed. Your questions, comments, and suggestions are most welcome.
As we enter this next period of the Library’s history, we are facing tremendous challenge. It will take us all to make sure that the Library that will emerge in the future is strong, relevant, and sustainable at UCLA. We are in this together and I know I can count on each of you to do your part.