Progress Report on Library Blue Ribbon Committee Recommendations
This report summarizes the Library's progress in implementing the Recommendations of the Library Blue Ribbon Committee. The Library Executive Council, the Library Policy Committee and other campus leaders have concurred with the BRC's findings and support their implementation. Progress and expectations as of mid-June, 2010 are represented here.
Budget: The Library is on track to absorb up to a 3% cut of total budget in FY11 and FY12, to be distributed proportionately across personnel, operating and information resources budgets. Accordingly, the following are the cut targets: FY11 FY12
Monographs $ 12,804 $ 12,420
Serials $255,000 $250,000
Personnel/Operating: $140,000 $140,000
The FY11 and FY12 cuts in subscriptions were estimated at 3% for the budget cut and another 5% for cost increases (for a total of 8%), then reduced from this estimate to approximately 7.5% due to our plan to transfer to serials $32,000 per year of the funds to be saved from projected personnel and operating cuts in those years. As of this writing, the cut to base in the Library & Gallery budget is set at 1.25%. Another 1.75% one-time cut is expected, but is not likely to be known until much later in FY 11. [Note: each 1% of the total Library & Gallery budget is now estimated to be $73,159 prior to any FY11 additions.] In May, the Provost allocated an additional $50,000 to the Library budget to support information needs of three new programs (MCS - $10,000, GWST - $7,000, Public Health/HAPP - $4,000) and to mitigate the effects of inflationary cost increases ($29,000). Working budgets will be adjusted accordingly. Additional FY11 working budget, rollover and funding information has been received but is not yet analyzed and integrated into Library budget planning. All outstanding budget issues will be addressed by the end of July.Implementation of Personnel and Operating Budget Cost Saving Scenarios Endorsed by the BRC:
General observations on phasing in of cuts:
- Some service cuts will not result in net savings; instead, they will free up resources to support priorities identified in the BRC report.
- Service cuts involving permanent staff lines do not initially provide cost savings. In order for cost savings to be realized, the Library must first arrange re-alignment of staffing with needs. In some cases, re-alignments must wait for appropriate vacancies to occur
- Original estimates of annual savings must in some cases be verified in the first months after initiation.
- Assessment of service changes by the Library Policy Committee may result in re-instatement of some services which are being cut.
1. Cut back on Serials desk hours open - begin Summer session 2010 to conform with Reference hours. Original estimate of annual savings: $5,100 in support staff, $3,200 in student assistants.
Update: This change has been posted and will become effective as of May 22, 2010. Savings in support staff will have to be deferred until an appropriate vacancy occurs.
2. No staffing in Slide Library - begin Summer 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: $25,000.
Update: This change has been posted and has become effective for the summer as of May 22, 2010. The new posting for the Slide Library is that staffing is "by appointment only". Staff will monitor the condition of the room once every two weeks to ensure that equipment and materials are in good condition. Staffing saved by this service cut has to be used for Library Media basic coverage while the Digital Media Librarian position is vacant. We will re-analyze the staffing needs when that position is filled. Meanwhile, we gain salary savings from at least four months of the Digital Media Librarian position, in the amount of approximately $14,000.
3. Reduce gift program, scale back on book sales and cataloging of gift materials - begin immediately. Original estimate of annual savings: Collection Management / Interlibrary Loan staff - $13,600; Technical Services Staff - $34,000; Technical Services faculty - $24,000; Serials Staff - $6,800. Loss of revenue from book sales: $4,000.
Update: The addition of gift materials has become more limited, with fewer 2nd copies, as well as ephemeral materials, added to the collection. Only one book sale per year will be scheduled - there was no spring booksale in FY10. Tech Services Staff line is $31,632, not $34,000, and has been applied to the Library's cut to base in the FY11 working budget. $2,034 is removed from the Technical Services faculty line as a cut to base in the FY11 working budget. There will be no book sale in the Fall of 2010 due to anticipated loss of a staff member in Collection Management / Interlibrary Loan. The expected staff savings in Collection Management / Interlibrary Loan will be reallocated to just in time information delivery services.
4. Reduce binding of most journals - already in place (Thesis/Dissertation/High Use journals/ Miscellaneous will still be bound). Original estimate of annual savings: $19,000 in FY10 and forward; $5,000 in FY11 and forward. Serials staff - $5,100. Serials Students - $1,600.
Update: $19,000 was removed from the bindery budget in FY10, as a cut to base, and only the categories listed above are being considered for binding.
5. Close library on Saturday in the Winter break and Summer - begin Summer 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: Staff - $1,360; Students $1,600.
Update: Summer hours, including Saturdays "closed," have been posted and an announcement sent to Insights. Starting May 22, 2010, the library was closed on Saturdays in the Summer and Winter sessions.
6. Stop organizing and presenting Friends-sponsored events other than Theatre with dinner - Summer 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: Faculty - $3,000; staff - $1,700.
Update: The Friends Council wants to keep the Theatre with Dinner event and the Bartleby event, but otherwise agrees to shift to supporting events sponsored by other organizations. This amounts to saving faculty and staff effort for two to three events per year. These events would be two BookNotes event and one additional independently sponsored Friends event per year. In past years, these events had been poorly attended. The Retired Faculty & Staff book club now largely fulfills the function of the two BookNotes events per year.
7. Stop notification of monograph orders to departments (except for rush/notifies) - Summer 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: Staff - $4,080
Update: This was completed in April 2010. There has been little comment.
8. Cut funding for recreational materials from booksale and state accounts - at end of the McNaughton contract, fall 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: $4,000 from book sale revenues revolving fund.
Update: This should end by December 2010.
9. Curtail library instruction offerings - begin Fall 2010 by not promoting the service; however requests will not be refused. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown. The Library will gather data in the 2010-2011 academic year to estimate the savings gained. Any savings would be realized only by rebalancing staffing in the following year or thereafter.
Update: Reference department has stopped actively promoting library instruction, however faculty have continued to request instruction.
10. Continue to develop and promote user independence and online self-service - this continues the efforts for #9. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown.
Update: Reference continues to create tutorials and recorded Wimba instruction sessions to assist library users.
11. Charge for study rooms and lockers - begin Fall 2010. Original estimate of annual savings: $7,300 estimated annual revenue; some (unknown; perhaps negligible) loss of staff time to processing of fees. Permanent lockers are not available at many other university libraries.
Update: The process for implementing these charges has been developed. Fees were to be $50 per semester for study rooms, $10 for lockers and $20 for bins. However, the Library Executive Council has tabled implementation due to feedback suggesting that it is an excessive burden on users. (Other USM institutions and JHU are not charging these fees. GWU charges a $25 fee per semester for a "closed study room"; their "lockmobiles" are free.) The income from this measure may not be needed to meet cut targets.
12. Review workflows and opportunities for cross training to find more efficient methods - begin immediately and continue to revisit, refine and streamline. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown.
Update: All departments are actively reviewing workflows for efficiencies. This is an ongoing task.
13. Cut student assistant allocations to some units- begin to study services immediately-individual departments can begin to determine where they can cut back on student assistants. Mandatory cuts will be enforced as needed when specific budget cuts are announced. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown.
Update: Library departments reviewed their student allocations and adjusted as needed and will continue to monitor student assistant allocations. The Library will review and summarize the savings from Summer and Fall, in January 2011. 14. Use lead students in place of staff where there are vacancies or increased workflow - begin as vacant lines are frozen. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown. May be redundant of other measures.
Update: There has been only one additional Library Faculty vacancy since the BRC report - that of the Digital Media Librarian. This position is not replaceable by student staffing. In June, 2010, there has been one staff vacancy, but this is not replaceable by students due to its audit requirements; the Library will request a hiring exception for this position in June, 2010.
15. Reduce Circulation/Security desk staffing if vacancies occur. Original estimate of annual savings: unknown. May be redundant of other measures.
Update: One vacancy to date, but this one must be replaced due to audit requirements - same staff position as cited in #14, above.
16. Limit ILL for undergraduates- begin Summer 2010, with exceptions. Original estimate of annual savings: $5,000.
Update: Given campus feedback to the effect that this measure would inhibit undergraduate research excessively, the Library will not implement this measure. Instead, procedures will be developed for advising students to seek a Reference consultation for their projects when interlibrary loan requesting seems excessive to staff. Savings in this area will be negligible. Librarians will also offer to work with faculty members as needed to advise them of the most effective ways to use ILL as they work with their students in their classes (as suggested at VP/Deans)
17. Identify during FY11 another $60,000 to $80,000 in cuts to implement in FY12.
Update: Ongoing; no further cut possibilities identified to date.
In sum, services cuts appear to be on schedule to reach needed levels for FY11.
Update on FY11 Serials Review Process:
It was agreed that the cut for serials for FY11 would be 7.5%. The memo to start the process was sent 3/30/10. April 2010
Due to the short timeline for database cancellations, the suggested Reference cancellation of the Wilson Package II database was announced to the campus with a deadline noted for comments. A few comments, all favorable for the cancellation, were received within the deadline. The department most affected by the cancellation (Education) was called for comment before the cancellation was processed. Education did not express concern over this cancellation. Therefore, this cancellation was implemented, fulfilling the database cancellation quota for the year.
A blackboard site for all faculty, deans and the Library Policy Committee was created for FY11 Serials Review documents, serials lists and other information.
Department chairs, library liaisons, the Library Policy Committee and deans were given access information to this site and a notification of timelines.
Questions and comments were received from various departments and colleges. Time extensions were granted as requested. These do not compromise the later deadlines. May 2010
An alphabetical listing of proposed cancellations was started and posted to the Blackboard site. As additional proposed cancellations are suggested, they are being added to the listing of proposed cancellations.
The Library Policy Committee, in response to BRC request for assessment of the Serials Review Process, requested that Departmental Chairs and Library Liaisons be contacted for comment and concerns on the process to date. An email was posted on 5/17/10 to the library listservs for departmental chairs and library liaisons requesting comment on the FY 11 Serials Review Process. June 2010
Once all of the proposed cancellations have been received a message will be sent to all departmental chairs and library liaisons to ask their faculty review the list and send any comments to the library.
The listing of proposed cancellations will be posted to the library website and comments will be solicited from the entire campus community.
Colleges will devise decision procedures for deciding on adjustments in allocations or in particular subscriptions, as needed, at the initiation of the colleges. Deadlines for cut decisions have been extended to June 25 for some departments.
July - December, 2010: no changes from BRC timeline are anticipated.
Additional Projects and Developments:
Just in time book ordering: We are exploring the conversion of additional interlibrary loan book borrowings to "just in time" purchases, using Library General monograph funding. Through mid-May of this fiscal year, we had borrowed 829 books from outside of the USMAI (i.e. not including patron-placed requests via LIMS) and purchased 190 titles in place of interlibrary loans, at a cost of $5,700. Our experience with conversion of interlibrary loans to purchases is that purchases can be faster and cost-competitive with borrowing, with judicious triage, even if the purchased materials do not circulate again. UMBC librarians Robin Moskal and Michelle Flinchbaugh have published in this area. There is also evidence that materials purchased in response to user requests are more likely to be borrowed by another user than are materials selected on a just in case basis. More research is needed to confirm this. As of this writing, UMBC librarians believe that an expansion of the current program is justified. In addition, new options for purchasing e-books on a just in time basis may be more cost-effective than borrowing. It is possible to purchase one time uses of some e-books for as little as $5.00; some e-book purchases for indefinite use by all UMBC users are competitive with paper purchases. We propose to explore these options further through limited trials.
End of year monographic funding: We are projecting that the monograph budget will have a $40,000 end of year balance, largely due to our freezing book orders in anticipation of additional late-in-year cuts which were not needed; some departments were not able to expend their monographic allocations, in part due to the late release of these funds. In any case, this monographic funding is available to support some of these possible investments in monographic information services:
1. E-books on demand: we have begun researching "patron driven acquisitions" (PDA) in e-books, in which the user receives one-time use of an e-book at Library expense, or Library purchases permanent access to an e-book at time of first user request. Any experiment we undertake in this area will require a funding stream, but has potential for cost avoidance significantly higher than the investment, and the potential for greater utility for library users, as compared to traditional book purchasing.
2. Back years of Web of Knowledge (1990's at about $5,000 per year).
3. ArtStor platform fee (subscription cost would have to be funded as a serial).
4. Additional JStor purchases platform fees (subscription costs would have to be funded as a serials).
5. Additional monographs to be ordered in FY11.
6. Early English Books Online ($30,000 initial fee; $8,000 subscription cost)
7. Additional sections of Project Muse; ScienceDirect (subscriptions)
8. ACLS Humanities E-Books (subscription)
Further research is ongoing. An open process for deciding on the use of this funding, involving the colleges, will be undertaken during the Summer and Fall.
Student Learning Center: Strong campus support has developed for the SLC, and funding is being identified. The Library has worked closely with Facilities Management on a New Concept for the SLC which could be constructed and furnished for $500,000. We are now planning a time line for steps needed prior to construction and working to identify the remainder of the needed funding.
Funding returned from USMAI: The USMAI returned LIMS funding to the participating libraries in FY10 to assist with their campus budget problems; UMBC's share was $104,222. This Spring, the USMAI Council of Library Directors approved holding the LIMS budget, and hence the campus payments, for FY11 at the FY10 level. These measures provide some of the one-time funding to return from the Library to the campus budget in FY11.
Vendor negotiations: UMBC has aggressively sought lower price increases in subscription costs, with a goal of "zero percent increases." We have focused on the more costly titles and worked directly with vendors as well as through the Maryland Digital Library (MDL) consortium and Lyrasis. The most costly of the MDL contracts (Ebsco's package which includes Academic Search Premier, Business Source Premier, and other titles) has been negotiated to a 0% price increase for FY11. The 0% increase will be held for FY12 and FY13 if all current MDL libraries continue to participate in those years.. One setback is with PsycInfo and PsycArticles, for which the publisher is subjecting us to a major price increase and is not expected to relent. This is not due to inflationary cost increases but due to the publisher's price structure which has a major step increase in price when a university's student FTE goes over 10,000. We were allowed a reprieve on this increase in FY10 but not for FY11. Step increases like this one will push our overall cost increases up even if the inflationary increases are as low as 5%.
Assessment of BRC Recommendations Implementation: * *Under the aegis and guidance of the Library Policy Committee, the Library will undertake assessment of the implementation of austerity measures and changes in Library goals implied by the BRC "Guiding Principles" and "General Guidelines." The Library staff will work with available LPC members and other campus resource persons to design, edit and test a survey of users during the Summer and Fall, for use before the end of the 2010-2011 academic year.
Discussions with DoIT: Librarians and DoIT administrators are discussing possibilities for re-organizing services and the staffing to support them. Changes arising from these discussions are constrained by the BRC guideline to shift staffing and priorities toward IT development and IT services, and by our commitment to people. Our goals in these discussions are to develop further Library IT services and resources, and greater effectiveness in IT support and development, both in the Library and campus-wide.
Institutional Repository investigations: Librarians are studying national developments in institutional repositories, seeking cost effective, low overhead, nationally integrated solutions to the need to post online and archive UMBC's research and creativity.
Additional investigations, questions, etc., originating post-BRC Report:
1. Alert services; RSS feeds - to facilitate article "just in time" access. The Library is continuing its investigation of these. Ingenta, which used to be helpful to many faculty members, is in decline; this is beyond Library control. For that matter, the state of alert services nationally is beyond our control. See http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/articles/alert.php for our list of alternative alert services. We are not aware of any methods for helping faculty to more easily set up their alert services, given the current state of alert services.
2. Interlibrary loan restrictions for undergraduates: we are reviewing guidelines, since several faculty members and undergraduate students have expressed concern about the impact on undergraduate student research. The guidelines will have provision for exceptions and will be oriented toward motivating students who believe they need many interlibrary loans to seek a consultation with a librarian.
3. Has the Library gone as online as much as it could, esp. in journal subscriptions?
We note that changing additional Elsevier titles to online subscriptions would cost 15% more than current print subscriptions. The following summarizes our progress to date in going to online subscriptions:
Prior to 2009: We have been changing to online only for several years now, as we become aware of titles which are being offered online only for less than we were paying for print, and as departments and programs agreed.
When we had print and then also acquired online access through bundled subscriptions or packages, e.g. the ACM bundle, the print has been canceled, in consultation with faculty.
2009: We had our main vendor, EBSCO, do a comprehensive review for us of all titles that were print or print + online, in the 2009 subscription year. We changed almost all which were less expensive to online only, i.e. where there were archival rights or where the department or program was not concerned with archival rights.
The 2009 changes only started with the 2010 subscription year, so faculty members may not have noticed them yet.
One major change in 2009 occurred when Sage, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley offered reduced rates for going online only for all their titles, which we did for the 2010 subscription year and forward. This was a Library decision, based on the availability of archival provisions from these publishers and on significant savings.
2010: There are a few residual cases still being addressed. Some were not changed by vendors after we requested online only in 2009; others were not resolved with faculty regarding whether they were OK with the change. Additional titles have become less costly as online only subscriptions since our last review.
We will review print subscriptions again in the course of the current effort to evaluate subscriptions for the 2011 subscription year. Pricing changes constantly.
4. Charge serials to grants? Library is in favor of this, but it needs to be addressed in the departments.
5. Why aim for a steady state print collection of 1.1million volumes? What is the basis for this decision? It is based on the print carrying capacity of the Library building and the expectation that funding for additional space will not be forthcoming. With the continuing advancement of e-resources, it is unlikely that demand for print materials on hand will hold at current levels, so we may be able to shrink the print collections over the next two decades.
6. Scan quality of e-article scans is often unacceptable: the Library needs communication on particular cases. We have implemented a request box on the form to request a color copy. We depend on other institutions to provide these scans and in some cases have to request a second scan when the quality is poor due to poor service from the providing institution.
7. The Library hiring exemption requests for two positions were approved June 3, 2010. The two positions are: an Electronic Resources and Non-Print Materials Cataloger (Librarian I) in Technical Services and a Digital Media Librarian (Librarian I). Filling these positions is in line with the recommendations of the BRC for IT-enhancement and support of the Library operations. A savings of $9,000 is also anticipated, as compared to the salaries of the previous incumbents.
8. Some members of the UMBC community have seen the BRC recommendations/plan as contradicting UMBC's expressed desire to achieve Very High Carnegie classification. This view presumes that only a traditional research library can sufficiently support a campus research mission. The evidence reviewed by the BRC indicates that UMBC can undertake alternative, more cost effective, methods of providing research level library support than the methods used by the major research libraries. We are motivated to implement these innovative methods by the high inflationary cost increases of information resources, particularly subscriptions, and by the budget pressures on the campus due to the flagging economy. Nevertheless, the measures recommended in the report are intended to maintain research level library support of the campus research mission.
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