Library Collections Budget Reduction for FY2021


UM Libraries’ core mission is providing the information resources needed for teaching and research. Overall our collections funding to meet that mission remains strong, however a university-mandated budget reduction requires the Libraries to strategically reduce and realign collections spending for the coming year. Given the specific focus of the budget reduction, database subscriptions will be most directly affected. The changes required to meet budget reductions in library resources are being carefully reviewed and implemented to minimize the impact on teaching and research.

Dean of Libraries Charles Eckman emphasized, “The Libraries are working through a deliberative process to identify reductions in consultation with school and departmental liaison librarians. Faculty, researchers and students are encouraged to contact their liaison librarians with any questions or concerns.” Reductions are being guided by data on information needs in different subject areas, chiefly through analysis of database use history. Duplication of resources across different formats and licensed products will be minimized as another avenue to cost savings. Fortunately UM Libraries has been able to negotiate price freezes for subscribed resources in many instances.

As part of its pandemic response, the library will temporarily prioritize e-book purchases over print. Per Dean Eckman, “This “e-preferred” policy will provide the broadest, safest, most equitable access to library resources for UM community members, both on- and off-campus.” The Libraries will still purchase print books when an electronic version is not available and maintain a contingency fund to continue its current practice of prioritizing user requests for books needed for teaching and research this year. This policy will be reviewed and reconsidered for FY22.

While it’s necessary to reduce collection expenditures at this time, the Libraries continue to offer a variety of services to minimize the impact of cancellations on research and teaching:

  • UM Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan department provides access to books and articles in journals that we do not subscribe to, at no charge to UM library users.
  • Over 40% of UM Libraries’ print collection is available online through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. Login to HathiTrust with your CaneID and password to gain access. Find out more.
  • UM Librarians can work with faculty and students to identify available resources that may be of interest.
  • While commitments to new subscriptions are on hold at this time, the Libraries will gladly take recommendations for potential future purchases.

Lisa Fish, Associate Dean for Collection Strategies, welcomes feedback, suggestions, questions or concerns related to the collections and collection policies at University of Miami Libraries.