Scholarly Resources: Questions?

We welcome your comments:


  1. What are "scholarly resources"?

    Scholarly resources are materials that are needed by UC Berkeley faculty and students including but not limited to books, journals, archives, audio and visual recordings, data files, databases, and other collections in either print or digital format.

  2. Why is the University asking the Library to reduce its budget?

    The Office of the President has required the Berkeley campus to close its structural budget deficit, and has imposed a four-year plan to accomplish this. The campus has imposed budget reductions on nearly every unit and division in each of the last three years, and expects to do so for at least two more years.

  3. What is the total dollar amount of the reduction?

    We will be identifying $1 million expenses related to scholarly resources that we will discontinue beginning July 1, 2018. We know that the campus may need to ask campus units to reduce budgets even further beginning in 2019 and 2020. With this in mind, we will be identifying now an additional $500,000 of possible reductions, so that we can include these in a single round of discussions with faculty. This second tier of reductions only will go into effect if needed.

  4. Why can’t the Library take money from other parts of its budget—salaries or other Library services and operations? 

    The Library has worked to align our reduced budget with the priorities outline in our strategic plan. To this end, the LIbrary is reducing other parts of our budget. In addition to the scholarly resources reduction, the Library identified salary savings (through retirement, open positions, or positions moved to one-time strategic gift funds) and operational savings. Reductions in these three areas allowed us to hit the budget improvement target mandated by campus.

  5. What is the process for the budget reduction review for scholarly resources?

    In brief, subject librarians will be proposing how to achieve the reduction, and then will discuss their ideas with faculty, modifying initial plans as appropriate. Subject librarians will consider many cost-saving strategies including working with vendors to increase discounts; review of any duplication across units or material formats; relying more on interlibrary borrowing for materials that are not a priority to purchase; reducing database subscriptions; reducing journal subscriptions, and reducing purchases of monographs. Faculty can expect to receive an invitation from their subject librarian to participate in early February. Please see the "Principles" and "Process" tabs, above, for more detail.

  6. How will the Libraries decide which journals and databases to cancel?

    Subject librarians are in close contact with faculty, instructors, and students on a regular basis. Liaisons will consider a variety of criteria to identify candidates for cancellation, including both quantitative (e.g., use, price, overlap across vendor packages) and qualitative measures (how core is this material to the subject? in what are UCB researchers most interested? what materials are needed for current courses?) The lists that are made available for faculty review will contain a brief description of why a given title is being proposed.

  7. Will it be possible to review the entire list of serials and databases under review?

    Yes. Subject librarians will be making these lists available to faculty in early February. We welcome your input.

  8. How will Faculty and Departments be involved?

    The Library will reach out to all faculty in early February. Your subject librarian will also be making contact. Subject librarians would welcome an opportunity to speak to your department as a group, or on an individual basis--whichever works better for you.

  9. Whom should I contact for more information?

    Between now and February 1, we suggest you send an email to and we will connect you with the person best able to help. At any time during the process, your subject librarian will be happy to speak with you. You can find their contact information at this directory.