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No Crystal Ball: Planning for Certain Future Cuts When the Future Is Uncertain
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This paper is a combined presentation from the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Many academic libraries have to make decisions about journal and database subscriptions before the university releases the upcoming budget. Often, it is necessary to not only make decisions for the following fiscal year without a final budget, but to plan ahead and forecast for an additional year. The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries approached it with a comprehensive collection review, covering print and electronic journals, journal packages, and databases. A wide range of data from various sources was brought together using Excel and Access. General assessment criteria were established. Communication, review, and the decision making process involving liaison librarians and faculty were managed with a combination of an online guide, SharePoint, Excel spreadsheets, and workshops. The goal was to correctly eliminate the journals with low demand to allow smart purchases of high‐demand resources in the future. The presenters will address the methods used to plan for cuts in an uncertain future as well as present challenges to these methods and future efforts. The Library at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) formed a Collection Development Team with members from several invested departments who could divide into subgroups, analyze data, and return quickly with proposed cuts. Different scenarios were identified, and a proposed plan for cuts was created for each potential scenario. This data‐driven process provided CPU, circulation, and other data to assist the team in making decisions. Timelines were created to allow for ample input from liaisons and departments, including time for departments to react to the proposed cuts in their areas and to swap out items. To make better monograph purchasing decisions, the Library is moving to DDA for approval plan books, where three uses will trigger an order. To manage user needs to journal titles being cancelled, the Library is investigating use of pay‐per‐view options to allow “rental” of cancelled titles.