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Scholarly Resources: 2020 Reduction Plan

We welcome your comments:

Scholarly reduction strategy and plan, 2020

With the Library budget reduction of $1 million affecting collections and access to collections during a period of substantial remote teaching and learning, Library collection managers defined the core principles and goals we should adhere to in order to fulfill our mission during the budget reduction process:

  • Reaffirm our commitment to supporting the current research, teaching, and learning of UC Berkeley faculty and students.

  • Preference digital versions where available for Library acquisition to support the current virtual teaching and learning environment.

  • Create collaborative agreements with other institutions and leverage our current partners to develop broad, easily accessible collections for use by our renowned academic community.

In previous budget reductions, the Library has typically cancelled serials. Since many serials are multi-year consortial agreements with the California Digital Library and other UC campus partners, and we recently conducted a major serials reduction of $1.5 million in fiscal year 2017-18, we have chosen to focus the current reduction on discretionary spending, typically monographs and other one-time purchases. Serials have been or will be renewed for the current year. Librarians may contact various Berkeley stakeholders over the coming year to discuss narrow and targeted serials for cancelation.

We are employing the following strategies to prioritizing the acquisition of materials that support current research, teaching, and learning in a virtual environment:

  • Expand our central fund for course reserves to provide as many course required resources as possible to support the current virtual teaching and learning environment.

  • Protect the media acquisitions budget, which supports all disciplines.

  • Preference affordable and usable e-materials where available and where it makes sense to support the current virtual learning and research environment. Acquisitions has resumed ordering for all scholarly materials regardless of format type.

  • Microfilm rare and unique foreign newspapers for preservation and long-term access for future digital conversion.

  • Undergo material replacements for lost, damaged, or otherwise no longer usable materials.

  • Provide enhanced funding to Interlibrary Loan for demand-driven acquisitions.

  • Maintain our English language approval plan to support the continued acquisition of core materials in English.

  • Explore potential partnerships with in-state academic peers to build accessible, broad multidisciplinary collections across our libraries.

We are fortunate to have $2 million in reserves for collections and plan to use $500,000 per year over the next four years to offset this reduction and anticipated budget reductions. We also have one-time funds this year of $300,000, which will also be distributed to the Library selectors.

Assessment and feedback

The Library commits to assessing these strategies at the end of fiscal year 2020-21 and adapt as needed for the next fiscal year. If you would like additional information on this year’s budget reduction strategy, please contact If you are a Berkeley professor, researcher, or student and need materials for your research or teaching, please start with your Library liaison.