This subcommittee was concerned with
- how the ULC might support the library portions of the UW System budget as it made its way through the state budget process;
- the general questions of the best division of funds among campus library units and among the various categories of expenses; and
- continuing to pull together a clear and consistent report of all campus libraries' budgets and needs.
In the early summer of 1993, when the UW System budget was before the Legislature, the ULC chair and GLS director visited Dane County legislators to acquaint them with the needs of the Madison, and System, libraries. The response to this effort was warm and positive. The ULC intends to continue meeting with legislators on a regular basis.
The timetable for developing the next biennial budget was shifted in 1993 to earlier due dates than in the past. During the fall semester the budget subcommittee, then the entire ULC, discussed priorities for new money requests, including collections, user education and distance education. There is a new thrust in the UW System for expanding distance education, which will put new demands on our campus libraries, as other campus and public libraries relay requests for material available only here. These concerns were passed on to the administration.
One consolidation of budget was under review during 1993. The General Library System (GLS) and the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) jointly proposed that the acquisitions budget of the SLIS Library be moved from the College of Letters and Science to the GLS, in an arrangement similar to the library for the College of Engineering. The ULC is encouraging this kind of administrative consolidation, which should reduce unnecessary duplication of acquisitions, as well as administrative costs.
The ULC questionnaire circulated to departments in February, 1993, included a request to rank three priorities. The results of the ranking by responding departments were:
- completeness of collections,
- physical accessibility of library, and
- electronic sophistication.
The top priority, completeness of collections, outstripped the second priority by a ratio of almost 2 to 1. Priorities two and three were ranked very close. This ranking suggests the urgent need for faculty discussion of spending priorities and collection development issues, since many librarians believe that electronic access to remote materials will be the only way to provide faculty and students with the information they require in the face of ever-increasing funding shortfalls for acquisitions.
In April, 1994, the ULC will have new annual reports from the campus libraries of their annual budgets. In the past, differences in accustomed modes of accounting and reporting made it difficult to compare the reports, and each year the library staff have cooperated in moving toward uniform guidelines and format. We expect eventually to have a report for laypeople, with consistent parameters, of the fiscal status of all campus libraries.
The total annual budget for our libraries, counting mostly 101 funds, is about 24.8 million dollars. It is significant that this figure represents essentially no change from the figure of 24.6 million given a year ago. GLS accounts for 16.23 million, of which 5.87 million was for Capital Expenses (mainly collections), 8.69 million for Personnel, and 1.67 million for S&E.
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