ULC Annual Report 1994-95
UW-Madison libraries continue to be plagued by reduced budgets but probably
have been less affected than most campus units; good management with solid
backing from campus administration should be credited.
Having reviewed the overall state and condition of the libraries' budgets,
the subcommittee has focused on the budgetary consequences of the Strategic
Plans and new initiatives of campus libraries. This necessarily involved
reviewing issues also under consideration by other subcommittees.
Under the budget lapse of 0.8 percent established for libraries by campus
administration, the net increase of the acquisitions budget (of 101 funds)
for 1994-95 becomes $333,000 (instead of the originally-approved increase of
$363,000). This increase is about half of what would be needed to buy the
same amount of serials and monographs as in 1993/94. Driving up costs are
double-digit increases in the cost of journals, the weak dollar, and
publishers' monopoly positions. These price increases amount to a constant
dollar loss of about 7 percent when 1993/94 is compared to 1992/93. When
data are in, 1994/95 will probably exhibit another 10 percent increase in
serial costs. Increases in monograph prices have been more modest. It is
estimated that combined serial subscription prices will increase by $400,000
and monographs by $210,000 in the present fiscal year.
The increases promised to the library early in the year and the reduction of
the lapse from 1 to 0.8 percent represent a commitment on the part of the
university administration at a time of extraordinary stringency and when some
other divisions are making even deeper cuts. Even so, the preeminence of the
university libraries in Madison will be challenged if the costs of serials
and monographs continue to increase in the future as they have in the past
and they are not matched by concomitant acquisitions budget increases. For
the present, libraries have been following prudent policies in order to cull
journals based on criteria such as faculty opinion, collection breadth and
scope, use, and per cost use.
Other issues of concern to the subcommittee include personnel budget
reductions, the percentage of indirect cost (150) funds remitted to the
libraries, and the pursuit of new monies for cost-effective innovative
programs such as the Virtual Electronic Library project of the CIC.
Last modified July 7, 1998
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