Yale University Library News

Yale Library plans for a reduced collection budget

diagonal view of bookshelves filled with books
July 30, 2020

In response to a university-mandated budget reduction, the library will strategically reduce spending on books, journals, databases, special collections, and other research materials for the coming year.  The changes have been carefully structured to minimize the impact on teaching and research.

“Our mission is to support Yale teaching and research at the highest possible level, and we will continue to do so,” said Barbara Rockenbach, Stephen F. Gates ’68 University Librarian. “Even with the required reductions, our collection development budget remains robust.”

The library developed the budget through a deliberative process in consultation with library department directors and collection managers. Instead of across-the-board cuts, reductions were guided by different needs in different subject areas. Duplication of resources across different formats and licensed products has been minimized, and in some cases, the library has been able to negotiate price freezes.

As part of its pandemic response, the library will temporarily prioritize e-book purchases over print. This “e-preferred” policy will provide the broadest and most equitable access to library resources for Yale community members on- and off-campus. The library will still purchase print books as needed or requested, and the policy will be reviewed and revisited no later than January 2021.

The library has a contingency fund to ensure the library continues its current practice of prioritizing user requests for materials needed for teaching and research this year. 

“I encourage faculty and students to reach out to our subject specialists with questions or problems,” Rockenbach said. “Librarians are problem solvers. We can’t say yes to every request, but more often than not, we will find a solution.”