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Journal/Database Review Project: Memo to Faculty

This guide provides information on the 2015 Journal/Database Review Project undertaken by the SU Libraries.

Memo to Faculty


TO: SU Faculty

FROM: Bea Hardy, Dean of Libraries

SUBJECT: Journal and Database Review Project

DATE: March 23, 2015

The SU Libraries are undertaking a major journal and database review project this spring. Regular increases in subscription costs combined with a lack of growth in the library budget unfortunately mean that we need to reduce our spending by approximately $150-175,000 per year, beginning with FY2016.  This is about 16-19% of the amount we spent this year on journals and databases, so it is a substantial decrease.  The SU Strategic Plan does call for an increase in library funding that should help us in the future, but in the present budget climate, we cannot expect an immediate increase. 

Cutting resources is never an easy task.  To make sure that we make the best decisions possible, we need your input!  Knowing what you and your students use and consider important will allow us to minimize the impact of this reduction by eliminating less valuable resources and keeping the journals and databases that are most helpful to you.  The liaison librarians have established lists of proposed cuts amounting to somewhere in the vicinity of 25% of our journals and databases based on usage, cost, and availability by other means.  We are asking the faculty to help us determine from those lists what to cut and what to keep.

We hope you will provide us with feedback on the proposed cuts.  You can do this individually through MyClasses (Blackboard version).  We know that many people use journals that might appear in other departments’ lists rather than their own department’s, and we want you to be able to provide us feedback.  Please do so through MyClasses.

Just go to the course listing in your MyClasses account and you will see “Journal/Database Review Project.”  You will find spreadsheets with department-specific lists of proposed journals to cut and a comprehensive list of proposed cuts.  There will be additional information for each title about cost and any notes librarians added, such as alternative access through databases.  AFTER you have reviewed the spreadsheets you’re interested in, then go to the survey linked from MyClasses to rate the journals for your department and any other journals you use.

The rating system will be: 1) essential; 2) useful; 3) minimally useful.  If you mark something as essential, it is important that you explain why it is essential.

In addition to individual responses, we also are asking each department to provide department-wide feedback to ensure that we are aware of the priorities of the department as a whole.  We have asked department chairs to decide how they want to handle coming up with the department-wide feedback, gather the information, and provide it to the departments’ liaison librarian. 

Responses, both individual and departmental, are due by Friday, April 24th.

Based on the feedback received, the library staff will come up with a final list of cuts by early May, trying to balance the needs of all departments.  We will share this list with you.

If you want to know more about the reasons for the cuts, etc., you will find more information on the other pages in this LibGuide.

Thank you for your help!  We look forward to better times in the future.