Library Collections


The Collections Advisory Committee has been established by the Dean of University Libraries to provide regular faculty input to the Libraries on criteria for making collection decisions.

Context

The rising costs of access to scholarly content is a world-wide phenomenon. The current model (greatly simplified) for the creation and distribution of scholarly content is:
  • faculty carry out research and scholarship
  • faculty write up the results of their research and locate a publisher
  • faculty sign contracts with publishers and turn over their copyright in order to be published
  • publishers sell access to the content back to libraries /institutions at prices that exceed the rate of inflation
  • libraries are able to provide access to less and less of the total scholarly output as budgets do not keep pace with vendor price increases
There have been some actions taken by individual institutions to attempt to modify this model, with varying degrees of success, mostly by drafting institutional open access policies (https://roarmap.eprints.org/). There have also been some recent attempts in other countries to take a unified position, such as when the research community in the United Kingdom and Ireland wrote on February 13, 2018 an Open Letter to the management of the publisher Taylor & Francis  that resulted in the vendor reversing on February 19, 2018 its proposed change to its pricing model.   

FAU Libraries

The Collections Advisory Committee has been established by the Dean of University Libraries to provide regular faculty input to the Libraries on criteria for making collection decisions.
   
The FAU Libraries' budget for purchasing or licensing scholarly materials (books, journals, media, databases, etc.) has remained unchanged for more than a decade. The rate of inflation for these library collections in the past decade has been at least 84%, with a 7-10% annual increase in costs being standard for print and electronic books, journals, and other resources.

The Libraries have made numerous presentations on the state of the budget for collections and have solicited faculty input on their preferred processes for making decisions about subscriptions and purchases.  We have been very clear in all of our presentations that we have run out of options. With an 84% rate of inflation for library collections in the past decade and a 0% increase in the collections budget, we have been steadily losing ground. The Libraries have been able to maintain the appearance of the status quo for electronic content only by reducing the budget for purchasing new monographs down to zero. For those disciplines that rely heavily on monographs, they have already been suffering the loss of access to scholarly content that they need. We have data from our recent faculty survey (available in files on this site), as well as communications from many individual faculty, that indicate how important monographs are for their disciplines.  

 

We have also supplemented our collections budget the past few years with Technology Fee proposals to purchase archives of electronic content. In addition, by keeping positions open longer than we would like, we have deliberately generated significant sums from salary savings for the past two years to enable us to pay for some subscriptions or to buy a few monographs. While these one-time infusions of cash are better than nothing, what is needed is a recurring increase in the collections budget. While the Libraries have requested new recurring and one-time increases to the collections budget in the FY18/19 budget cycle, it is not guaranteed that the University will have sufficient money to be able to adequately address the rising costs of scholarly content in the short-term.


Bottom line: The Libraries have a limited amount of money to purchase scholarly content and the same content costs more every year. The vendors do not permit us to buy on credit. If we don't have enough money to pay for our existing subscriptions when the contracts come due, the vendors will cut off access. It is our hope to get faculty input on how to make the difficult decisions facing us so that reductions will not be felt in one discipline more than another. This is a university-wide issue that will require faculty from all Colleges to work with their library faculty colleagues and their colleagues in other disciplines to prioritize needs. We are all in this together.


  • On August 23, 2017, the Dean of Libraries and Assistant Dean for Research and Collections gave a presentation to the Council of Deans and asked for the opportunity to present the information to College Councils and to individual departments.
  • On August 31, 2017, the Dean of University Libraries and Assistant Dean for Research and Collections gave a presentation to the Chairs Forum of the College of Arts & Letters.
  • On October 16, 2017, the Dean of  University Libraries gave a presentation to the University Faculty Senate.
  • On November 19, 2017, the Dean of University Libraries and Assistant Dean for Research and Collections gave a presentation to the College of Education Dean's Executive Executive Committee.
  • On November 20, 2017, the Dean of University Libraries, the Assistant Dean for Research and Collections, and the Head of Collection Management held an open forum for all faculty.
  • On February 16, 2018,  the Dean of University Libraries, the Assistant Dean for Research and Collections, and the Head of Collection Management held an open forum for all faculty.
  • On February 26, 2018, the Dean of University Libraries gave a presentation to the University Faculty Senate.
  • On April 20, 2018,  the Dean of University Libraries, the Assistant Dean for Research and Collections, and the Head of Collection Management gave a presentation to the Faculty Assembly of the College for Design and Social Inquiry.
The Libraries will continue to hold open forums and meet with College Councils and individual departments to share information and solicit suggestions.  The Collections Advisory Committee has been established by the Dean of University Libraries to provide regular faculty input to the Libraries on criteria for making collection decisions. Some of the presentations made and other supporting documentation are available on this site below.

Like all libraries in the State University System of Florida (SUS), the FAU Libraries purchase and license access to scholarly content through a complex array of consortial agreements and individual licenses or purchases. We consult extensively with our colleagues within the SUS and the state and apply best practices for the development of academic library collections.

For more information about Collection Management at FAU Libraries, we invite you to review the web pages at http://www.library.fau.edu/depts/cd/colldev.htm .

Please feel free to contact the Head of Collection Management, Maris Hayashi; the Assistant Dean for Research and Collections, Jeff Sundquist; or the Dean of University Libraries, Carol Hixson, with any questions or concerns.
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Apr 19, 2018, 12:20 PM
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