Albertsons Library has been and will always be the Boise State community’s research partner and information access champion. However, we’ve been fighting an uphill battle for access to information on your behalf, and we’ve reached a critical turning point.
Since 2010, inflation on library journals and others subscription prices has averaged 6% per year. This significantly outpaces any budget increases the library receives and as a result, the library was facing a shortfall of approximately $235,000 beginning FY2020 (July 2019). In response, Albertsons Library staff spent significant time this past fall scouring the collection to identify any unused or duplicated content. When identified, we discontinued those subscriptions, resulting in reducing our deficit by $110,000.
During this time, we also made the hard decision to break up one of our largest journal packages, Taylor and Francis. Using a rubric which included data on usage, subscription costs, potential Interlibrary Loan costs, and cost per use, journals were selected for retention. Although successful in completing this project, the changes in the library’s Taylor and Francis package illustrates the difficulty academic libraries have been facing. Prior to this decision, Albertsons Library paid $220,000 for 3047 journals. After the deselection process, we are now paying $100,000 for 74 journals.
Sadly, Boise State is not the only university having to make these incredibly difficult and impactful decisions. SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) retains a list of academic libraries that have cancelled the large journal packages, also known as “Big Deal Packages”.
Going forward, Albertsons Library will continue to work to find new ways to support faculty, students, and staff, while always striving to balance the collections budget. To learn more about our efforts, please visit our Library Budget page. If you have concerns or would like to discuss this issue in person, please contact Mary Aagard, Interim Head of Acquisitions and Collections – firstname.lastname@example.org, Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, Dean of Albertsons Library – email@example.com, or your personal library liaison.