Libraries Launches 2020 Serials Review Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed UNLV in uncertain financial times, with severe budget cuts from the state legislature for the current fiscal year. Heading into the next biennium, we expect continued strain on the state’s budget as we grapple with the long-term impacts of COVID-19. 

In anticipation of tight budgets, the University Libraries are taking steps to prepare for potential impacts on our collection acquisitions funding. We expect flat or reduced collection acquisition funding in FY21 and likely the fiscal years beyond. Even with flat funding, the impact of inflation (on average 6% for continuing collection resources or approximately $450,000 annually) will mean that we will be unable to maintain our existing collections. Given this outlook, the Libraries is planning for $750,000 in cuts to collections, with the reductions and cancellations taking place over the next two fiscal years. The Health Science Library is also reviewing their School of Medicine collections budget for reductions as a result of their budget cuts.

Contractual obligations specify timeframes in which to renew or cancel resources. These timeframes may not align with the evolving budget situation, so it is necessary for us to proceed with planning for cuts now ahead of firm budget figures. As we plan for which collections to eliminate, we are seeking comprehensive input from stakeholders across the university to ensure we have the best possible outcomes. Our aim is to minimize the impacts of these cuts by employing a combination of reduced book acquisitions and cancelling subscriptions to journals and databases. Our collections staff continuously monitors use of the collections and has identified a set of journals and databases that have a high cost per use and/or are somewhat duplicative in content. 

We ask you to review this list of resources by October 2, 2020 and provide us with your feedback. Remember, this list is a list of potential cancellations and the appearance of a title on the list does not mean it will definitely be cancelled. Find additional information on reviewing the proposed cut list, providing feedback, and timeline for the review.

The Libraries remain committed to providing the research resources you need as collections are central to ensuring UNLV remains an R1 institution. We work constantly to maximize the value of the collections budget through robust negotiations with vendors to cap inflation and leverage the buying power of our consortial partnerships including NSHE libraries and the Greater Western Library Alliance. 

Our discovery environment enables patrons to search and identify needed articles regardless of whether they are held by us. And our Interlibrary Loan department facilitates electronic delivery of needed journal articles and other resources. We also are committed to many open access initiatives as a way to bring about change in the scholarly communication system.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration as we make these difficult decisions. Questions about the review may be directed to Cory Tucker, Head of Continuing Resources & Collections, at or 702-895-2133, or the Subject Liaison Librarian for your discipline.

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