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Budget Subcommittee

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.


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Last modified July 7, 1998

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