Re: Library cancelations

From: Albert Henderson <NobleStation_at_COMPUSERVE.COM>
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 18:52:07 -0400

on 23 Sep 1999 Katherine Porter <Porter_at_LIBRARY.VANDERBILT.EDU> wrote:
> > The fact that APS
> >hasn't noticed many cancellations attributable to
> > LANL suggests only that universities are willing to sacrifice small
> > fry physics as bait for a big kill in the life and social sciences.
> >
> > Albert Henderson
> Having been a part of several "big kills," I think there is another
> interpretation possible. These activities seem to target the
> sciences like physics and chemistry, not social sciences or
> humanities, because dumping a small number of titles gets big bucks
> where cancelling 100 humanities titles might get you $1000 savings.
> In no way is Physics a "small fry" in cancellation days, at least not
> at any institution I am familiar with. It is entirely possible that
> APS has seen fewer cancellations because libraries (yes, WE got to
> choose the titles, not the administration) are willing to keep even
> multiple access points to important journals and axe those of less
> local value. As a chemistry librarian, I would have to say that the
> journals of the key societies in the field would endure in my
> collection even after many other titles were gone.

The nasty job of triage and justifying cancellations is
part of being a pawn. Your many kills would not have been
needed if universities kept library spending growth on
a par with academic R&D. Between 1990 and 1997, academic
R&D rose 50% (from $16,285 million to $24,348 million)
while median ARL university spending rose 28% (from $11
million to $14 million). The imbalance goes back to 1970.

Department of Education statistics indicate higher
education profits rose while library spending decreased.

In FY 1997 Vanderbilt showed a $200 million profit to the
It spent >$15 million on its library. (ARL) It could have
spent more.

In the robust economy over the recent years, there was
no urgency to "containing" library spending. Yet so many
librarians have swollowed whole the administrative need
to keep down or cut library spending.

Let university cut its profits.

Albert Henderson
Received on Wed Feb 10 1999 - 19:17:43 GMT

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