Support for the
"Report of the Task Force on Library Collections"
and Restoration of Funding for Library Collections

AS-2429-98/AA - September 10-11, 1998

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University support the "Report of the Task Force on Library Collections" and urge the Chancellor, Board of Trustees and campuses to support the following budgetary recommendations:

• that the $10 million one-time supplemental funds for library materials included in the 1998-99 general fund budget be "’earmarked’ to assure that these funds are used to restore in part the library purchasing power lost since 1990-91."; and

• that "every effort be made to add the $10 million one-time supplement funding in 98-99 to the base budget in future years with adjustments for inflation and to assure that it is used for library acquisitions."; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU commend the Task Force on Library Collections and the Council of Library Directors for preparing the "Report of the Task Force on Library Collections" and informing the CSU community of the drastic need to increase funding for library collections to enable the CSU to continue offering educational programs of high quality.

RATIONALE: Since FY 1990-91, the support for the collections of the CSU libraries has declined disproportionately to all other aspects of the academic enterprise. The cuts began with the libraries under the notion that the budget would soon improve and sacrificing the libraries would be the lesser of other evils. When one considers that in 1990 the total expenditure for acquisitions (electronic resources, for the most part, were not purchased) for 19 libraries was $24,024,731 and that in FY 96-97 the expenditures for acquisitions (including electronic resources) for 22 libraries was $25,632,651––a mere increase of 4 percent––it becomes apparent that the libraries have not only suffered disproportionately, for a longer period of time, but also are not recovering on a par with other programs under the terms of the "compact." For example, in FY 90-91 the total expenditures for 19 CSU libraries was 4.69 percent of all general fund expenditures, whereas in FY 96-97 the total library expenditures for 22 CSU libraries was only 4.15 percent of all general fund expenditures.

Additionally, the costs of library materials have risen more steeply than any other commodities purchased by the university in the nineties. Between FY 90-91 and FY 97-98, the price of library books increased by 29 percent. During the same interval, periodicals rose by 87 percent. The result is that eight years ago 19 libraries paid for 63,822 subscriptions while last year 22 libraries paid for 47,310; a cancellation rate of 26 percent. Eight years ago 19 libraries purchased 263,379 books while last year 22 libraries purchased 226,668––a reduction of 14 percent. Does this imply less work for librarians? Not so; during the same time staffing in 19 libraries was reduced from 1,217 FTE positions (a ratio of 0.6 FTE position per 100 FTES) to 1,127 positions (a ratio of 0.43 FTE position per 100 FTES) in 22 libraries. The reduced staff was kept occupied by an increased demand for inter-library loans. Eight years ago 19 libraries borrowed 126,549 items from other libraries while last year 22 libraries borrowed 159,671 items from other libraries––an increase of 26 percent.

The rising disparity between the costs of library books and serials works to the disadvantage of the former. As a result, we are experiencing a decreasing proportion of contemporary publications in comparison to older publications within the subject areas. For example, in the dynamic field of computer science, the library holdings at San Jose State show that 21.1 percent of the books were published in 1988 while only 6.1 percent were published in 1996.


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