Scholarly Resources: Reductions

Library collections image

We welcome your comments:


Thanks for your participation in this process. The official comment period is now over.

In response to the campus mandated reduction in Library expenses,  $1.5 million in scholarly resource savings will be effective July 1, 2018. $1.5 million represents 7.9% the scholarly resources budget for content.

This process resulted in the following cuts:


$1.5M target Serial Cancel.       Monograph Reduct. serial percent monograph percent
Arts & Humanities $  305,079

$ 191,785

$  113,924

63%  37%
Bancroft $  130,839 $           0

$ 130,839

 0% 100%
East Asian Library $    63,678 $  24,899 $   38,799 39%  61%
Engineering & Physical Sciences $  387,302 $ 253,827 $ 133.475 66%  34%
Life & Health Sciences $  249,763 $ 177,592 $   72,169 71%  29%
Social Sciences $  363,339

$ 297,376

$   65,963 82%  18%
Totals $1,500,000 $ 945,480 $ 554,420 63%   37%

The Bancroft will also use about $130,000 from endowments to pay for salaries in lieu of collections, due to the operation cuts they, like other Library units, were asked to take.

For more information see "How the savings targets were set and managed" and "How the lists were proposed, vetted, and modified", below.

Titles/packages to be canceled

For ease of use, we are presenting the material in two ways. Please note: you must authenticate as a member of the Berkeley campus to access these lists; please use your campus rather than your personal email.

How the savings targets were set and managed



We started by calculating the share of our materials budget currently spent on materials primarily identified with each subject division: Arts & Humanities, Engineering & Physical Sciences, Life & Health Sciences, Social Sciences, The Bancroft Library, and the East Asian Library. Since these budget shares are the result of years of discussions and accumulated decisions about how best to serve all faculty and students, across all disciplines, we wanted to implement the spending reduction in a way that didn't change these budget shares. Thus, each division was assigned a reduction target equal to its current budget share. These can be seen in the pie chart figure. We believe this is the most fair approach, or more accurately, reflects our best judgment over time about how to serve all faculty and students in a balanced way.

The librarians in each division worked together to determine which specific cuts to recommend to meet their division's reduction target. Serial cancellation lists were prepared by looking for duplication of content, low-use material, and/or unusually high costs per use. Final cuts are being accomplished by a combination of serials cancellations and some one-time reductions to monographs. Since made within divisions, decisions on how much to reduce serials versus one-time purchases (e.g., monographs), reflect the different disciplinary preferences of campus researchers. In all cases, preserving essential content was each group's priority. 

How the lists were proposed, vetted, and modified

Subject librarians working in their broad subject groups, proposed an initial list of roughly 1,800 recurring subscriptions for cancellation. One subscription can represent a single title or a group of titles depending on publisher practices. Over 40% of the products being considered for cancellation are, in fact, duplications of content (e.g., titles have moved to online packages; became open access; print and/or microform titles to be canceled in favor of online).

This list was shared with campus via an online site, for a two-month comment period. The site received just under 6000 hits, with faculty and students emailing ~150 comments about specific titles.  As a result of this process, ~1600 subscriptions, down from 1800, will not be renewed.