Over the past decade, the Libraries have mitigated rising costs by:
- Negotiating with publishers and vendors for low annual increases and the lowest possible prices.
- Working with campus administration to increase funding. When possible, the University has provided the Libraries' with supplemental increases to help address collection budget pressures.
- Working with other campus partners to help pay for specific resources.
- Gradually reducing or eliminating costs in areas such as staffing, operations, and one-time collection costs for materials such as books. At present we spend approximately 7% of our collections budget on one-time expenditures. The Libraries have reduced staffing significantly since 2000.
- Cutting subscriptions in consultation with specific departments, usually in exchange for adding another desired title.
- In FY16, the Libraries worked with student leaders to ask students to vote for a library fee. Despite significant support, the fee did not pass. Thanks to ongoing student support, a smaller fee did pass in FY17. However, the amount of this fee cannot help us address the extent of our collections budget challenges.
Budgets have been tight at Mizzou for many years. With limited sources of new funding, the university administration is finding it harder than ever to provide the Libraries with increased funding or one-time support to meet critical needs.