Library budget reduced by $80,000

By Mark Indreika

Because of the $363 million statewide budget cut, NIU’s library material fund is being reduced by $80,000 this year.

Gordon Rowley, associate director of NIU libraries, said the cuts represent a 4 percent reduction in the materials’ budget from last year, which was at $1.9 million. This is roughly in keeping with the university budget cuts on a whole, he said.

“We will not be able to purchase as many books and journals as we did last year,” he said.

owley said the cuts will create some gaps in the library’s collection over the next year. He said students whose research require a lot of specialized material might be forced to go to other libraries.

owley said NIU’s libraries are not only being affected by the budget reduction but also by inflation and the high cost of European serial publications.

e said the price of library materials has gone up by 8 to 12 percent this year as an average, thus having a direct impact on the libraries’ puchasing power.

owley said even if the libraries’ budgets had zero growth, they would still lose purchasing power because of the impact of inflation.

owley said the price of European periodicals has been going up by 30 percent or more over the last couple of years. He said because of this, NIU might not be able to order as many of these journals.

Norman Vogt, head of the serials department for NIU libraries, said there have been some British and German publishers who have been specifically charging American libraries a higher rate for the same materials.

owley said the price increases are unfortunate because many of these European journals have become important additions to the library’s collection. He said a lot of them deal in the sciences and are needed to support NIU’s newest commitment in this area.

Pre-engineering student Robb Junker said a decrease in available material will be unfortunate because science students always must be kept up-to-date on any changes in the field.

owley said, “This fall, in order to adjust our collection development efforts so we can bring our purchasing to line with the available funding, we’re reviewing all components of our materials budget.

First, the library would maintain its commitment to building a “core collection,” which means none of the most common journals would be cut, he said.

The next point, he said, would be to assess all discretionary purchases, and determine which ones could be deferred to a later date or dropped completely.

Finally, Rowley said some academic departments have been asked to review the journals which they consider to be most expensive. He said by doing this, a list of the most expensive books and journals could be compiled for a review to determine if they are really needed.

Student Association President Jim Fischer commented on the library material reductions, “I think it’s just another clear example of how the actions of the state has made it impossible for the university to provide the education required by the citizens of the state.”