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As the University works towards strategic transformation and financial sustainability, the library is undertaking an operational review to implement and manage a 9.5% budget reduction, to be achieved by fiscal year 2024-25. The purpose of this web page is to provide up-to-date information about our budget reduction strategy, process, and decisions.

The library has developed a number of budget planning principles (below) to help guide our decision-making as we work towards our budget reduction target. These principles provide a framework within which we consider options and make decisions on the collections, services, and infrastructure we will update, modify, scale back, or eliminate. Throughout this process, we remain committed to our vision and core values, the University’s Strategic Plan, and our teaching and research mission.

The following pages provide specific information about impacts to library collections and services:

If you have any questions about our strategy, process, and/or decisions, please contact Amanda Etches (Interim University Librarian) at ul@uoguelph.ca.

Library Budget Planning Principles

  1. The significance of the budget reduction we are dealing with necessitates strategic and substantive cuts rather than many small cuts across the organization.

  2. Focus on where we have agency, not on the things we can’t control

  3. Spread the impact: amongst service areas, teams, employee groups, and levels within the organization

  4. People:

    • Collapse vacant positions where possible, to minimize layoffs and reduce impact on people

    • Consider sharing position(s) with other units

    • Maintain a reduced temporary full-time budget to allow some flexibility in staffing

    • Explore opportunities to redeploy to high-need area(s)

  5. Improve service equity & sustainability: deliver services differently / in a less “high touch” way (e.g. standardized consultation timeslots, limit on bookings), improve service consistency (e.g. using tools such as LibGuides, modules, or standardized responses), and prioritize services that serve the widest audiences.

  6. Information Resources (IR) Budget (Collections):

    • Aim for minor cut, keeping future students/researchers in mind

    • If we unbundle a “big deal”, we will consider not re-subscribing (use alternative access methods for individual articles), given the staff time required to resubscribe and manage ongoing subscriptions/access to single journal titles

    • Re-examine licenses and on-going purchases in line with the results of the Academic Program Review

    • Explore areas of overlap or redundancy (e.g. journals with access in numerous aggregators)

    • Use these methods to assess subscriptions for cancellation:

      • Usage data (COUNTER stats)

      • Overlap between databases

      • Gathering input from users

      • Centrality of content to our collections of record

      • Impact on staff of breakage (i.e. are we going to save Collections budget money but the move results in flooding staff with work).

  7. Make data-informed decisions: What do our data tell us about the services our community needs and uses?

  8. Remember our values: anchor our plans and decisions with our values as a library and with our equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts

  9. Consider long-term and short-term impacts:

    • Assume that collapsed positions will not be returned to the library

    • Cuts to the IR budget are deeper longer-term (if not replenished) due to inflationary increases and international currency exchange

    • Consider evolving trends and user behaviours that impact operational efficiencies and areas of need. (e.g. reduce number of public desktops based on low usage)

    • Avoid making cuts that end up creating additional work (e.g. resubscribing to journals after unbundling a "big deal")

  10. Communication:

    • Honour confidentiality when required

    • Share as much as we can (with context) when we are permitted to

    • Understand that our colleagues will have many questions and concerns and that they will need time to process

The library is committed to ensuring that members of our user community with disabilities have equal access to our services and resources and that their dignity and independence is always respected. If you encounter a barrier and/or need an alternate format, please fill out our Library Print and Multimedia Alternate-Format Request Form. Contact us if you’d like to provide feedback: lib.a11y@uoguelph.ca