In preparation for a potential budget cut next fall, Binghamton University’s libraries have identified $450,000 in electronic resources and print periodicals to possibly cancel.
Of these titles, 63 will be canceled before July 1 because of their early renewal dates and could be reinstated if the budget allows for it in the fall. The renewal dates for other titles are not until September, according to a press release announcing the potential cancellations, which will allow for further consideration.
While the budget cuts are not definite, Michael McGoff, senior vice provost and chief financial officer for the University, asked various departments, including the University libraries, to prepare for one regardless.
According to McGoff, the University is likely to acquire new costs in relation to salary increases being negotiated by the state and various unions.
“Therefore, as good management practice, we have asked divisions, including the library, to have plans for potential reductions in allocation in the event that we do not generate the revenue necessary to cover new costs,” McGoff wrote. “We are simply engaged in prudent financial planning.”
The University libraries will potentially cancel electronic resources and print periodicals from each subject, with anthropology and romance languages facing the most potential impacts.
According to the press release, the libraries decided on the potential cancellations by examining titles of which the cost per use was over $75. Then, each subject area was given a certain amount to cut based on the subject’s budget percentage within the overall electronic resources and print periodicals budget.
Other criteria used included a review of cost, rate of inflation, use of the resources across campus and the extent to which the databases’ content overlapped with the content in other resources.
Dean of Libraries Curtis Kendrick wrote in an email that a budget cut could make titles less accessible for students and staff.
“Should [budget cuts] be necessary, the impact on the Libraries will be nontrivial — we will have to cut titles that are important to the work of our faculty and students,” Kendrick wrote. “We do have an excellent interlibrary loan operation, but something is lost in not having the immediacy and convenience of local access. This is why we are doing all that we can to be transparent about what titles we are considering canceling.”
In addition to canceling titles, Jill Dixon, the associate University librarian for public services and collections, wrote in an email that any staff vacancies would likely remain vacant.
According to Dixon, while University libraries do receive funding from grants and individual donors, this is a relatively small portion of the overall budget.
“A budget cut is never easy, however, we will work to try to minimize the overall impact on faculty and students to the best of our ability with the budget given to the libraries,” Dixon wrote.
According to McGoff, the budgets are determined by a team of people after consultation with deans and programs. They create enrollment projections for the academic year that ultimately help create revenue projections that help determine budgets.
However, McGoff wrote that the University would not know its definite revenue projections until well into the fall semester. McGoff wrote that if any budget cuts do occur, his office will try its best to avoid any large impact on the University community.
“Reiterating that any cuts are still only potential, we will do everything in our power to have as little impact on University operations as possible,” McGoff wrote. “The academic mission is primary and the academic programs will be as protected as we possibly can.”