40% of university libraries plan cuts to book and journal purchases next year.
Academics should brace themselves for “severe” cuts in access to new books and journals in the next academic year as higher costs caused by the fall in the value of the pound put libraries under pressure.
Times Higher Education reported in January that the drop in the pound’s value was having a “crippling effect” on the budgets of UK university libraries, which faced huge increases in subscriptions costs for research journals from the US and elsewhere in Europe.
Now a new survey of 38 university libraries conducted by the Research Information Network (RIN) reveals just how serious the situation is.
Preliminary findings presented to Times Higher Education show that although the current academic year has been “financially challenging”, it is in 2009-10 that the pinch will really be felt.
The survey shows that nearly 40 per cent of libraries plan cuts to books and serial purchases from next year. One in five plans to cancel one or more so-called big deals with publishing houses to access bundles of journals online. A single bundle can contain hundreds of titles.