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Increased funding for Library materials

Review of the Library Budget & Funding Model: Report and outcomes

The Final Report of the Review of the University of Adelaide Library Budget & Funding Model is now available. Thanks are due to all Library users who made submissions.

Purpose

  • The primary purpose of the review, as defined by the terms of reference, was to assess the approach and adequacy of the annual Library budget allocation to provide appropriate resources and services to support the Great Research University strategic goals.

Findings

  • A minimal materials budget has been allocated to the Library over the last ten years allowing for only major and basic research publications to be sourced. This has led to a significant shortfall in digital information as well as depth of research material
  • The University Library’s material expenditure currently is well below the Group of 8 average and below that of comparative size universities such as ANU and UWA
  • The Library has received limited funding over the last ten years from ‘additional’ budget sources such as strategic initiatives and cost and growth pressures

Recommendations

  • The base recurrent allocation to the Library for the purchase of materials should be increased to the point where it is seventh among the Group of 8 libraries
  • Any funding should be used to fund materials expenditure in areas of emerging growth and as prioritised in consultation with all Faculties and Schools
  • Due regard during the budget allocation process be given to library-specific inflationary pressures concerning journals and subscriptions
  • Due regard during the budget allocation process be given to the impact of currency fluctuations on the Library’s materials purchasing. Ownership of and responsibility for any possible hedging options should reside with the Chief Financial Officer not the University Librarian

Outcomes

The Vice Chancellor and President has approved a number of steps to address the recommendations:

In 2009

  • $1.5 million will be allocated to absorb the critical impact of the depreciation of the Australian dollar in the current global financial crisis and maintain Library provision of journals and electronic packages at existing levels
  • $2 million is to be invested to increase Library materials provision. The University Librarian is in the process of liaising with Executive Deans and Heads of Schools on the use of additional funds to address areas of research growth

The source of these one off funds is a combination of release of retained earnings from the Library Image & Copy Centre operations and from University contingency funds.

In 2010

  • From 2010 an extra $2 million from University recurrent funding (to be indexed for journal inflation) will be contributed to increase the base allocation for Library materials and as a step to achieve and maintain closer parity with UWA and ANU library investments

This is a most significant decision and commitment to address the findings of the Review for the longer term.

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3 Responses

  1. what_nick says:

    It is good to hear about funding increase for Journal subscriptions. Hope we can afford a full IEEExplore subscription with the funding.

  2. Steve Cramond says:

    Regarding IEEE, be assured that this is very high on the Library’s priority list. We hope to announce the availability of access to the complete IEEE online library in the next few days.