Collections Communications Update 2015-2016

UBC Library strives to be the University’s foremost information resource, fully supporting the University’s aspirations in research, teaching and learning.

The 2015/2016 fiscal year brings unprecedented challenges. The purchasing power of the Library’s collections budget continues to decline following the combined effects of inflation, skyrocketing e-resources costs, and the falling Canadian dollar. Of the 14.8 million dollars allocated to the Library’s collections this year, 13.2 million (89%) is required just to maintain existing levels of access to the Library’s current collection of research journals and databases. The dramatic increase in the cost of these resources leaves limited funds to sustain current journal and e-resource subscription levels, expand our journal and e-resource subscriptions, or support information resources across other formats.

The graph below makes visible the decline from 2010 to 2015 in the Library’s collection purchasing power and the Library’s ability to sustain existing resources.

Library's purchasing power 2010-2015

The Library’s collection purchasing power and ability to sustain existing resources has declined from 2010 to 2015.

Facing the unprecedented challenge of working to support the University’s aspirations in research, teaching and learning with insufficient funds, UBC Library will moderate its collection development, focus its collection purchasing activities, and explore innovative cost-efficient collection practices. Emphasis will be on:

  • purchasing large, multi-disciplinary, perpetual access e-book packages
  • negotiating strategically with library resource vendors
  • prioritizing resources that demonstrate use

We remain firm in our commitment to fund nationally significant, unique and distinct collections, including our First Nations collections, non-English language materials in the humanities and social sciences, Asian language materials, music scores, and Rare Books and Special Collections.

UBC Library is grateful to the University for the one-time $600,000 supplement to our collection budget, announced by the Provost in May, as well as the Library’s regular 2% collection budget annual increase. Regrettably, these much-needed and welcomed funds are not sufficient to off-set typical inflationary increases for the information resources we provide. As funds are available, precedence will be given this year to purchasing materials requested by faculty and students for research, teaching and curriculum needs. Please let our subject liaison librarians know if there are new materials you’d like us to purchase. Your recommendations are more valuable than ever.