Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, the Western Libraries -- working in conjunction with the Western Libraries Subscription Task Force -- led the university through the challenging process of canceling 187 journal, database, and e-book subscriptions. These reductions were in response to a significant budget shortfall caused by ever-rising subscription costs. Without annual increases to the collections budget, inflation on subscriptions makes it impossible to sustain all existing commitments.
This year, the Libraries is working actively with the Provost’s Office to explore a variety of financial mitigation strategies that would lessen the extent of cancellations. However, without a sustainable solution to cover FY22 deficits and beyond, we project the need for continuing subscription reductions in the coming years.
To address the FY2022 deficit, the Libraries will be reviewing all subscriptions except for a handful of resources funded by recent decision packages and a small number of packages on multi-year contracts. This will include subscriptions that were selected for retention last year and several major journal packages from prominent academic publishers.
The 2020-21 subscription review process will follow a similar timeline and structure to the 2019-20 process and will include opportunities throughout fall and winter for students, faculty, and staff to provide input.
More detailed information about the process, including specific subscription evaluation criteria, stages, and timelines, can be found on the Libraries’ Subscription Review site. Faculty can expect outreach and support from Western’s faculty librarians throughout the year to help navigate this difficult undertaking.
As we move through the year, refer to the Libraries’ Subscription Review site to get the latest information. You can also reach out to the Libraries Subject Teams or contact Library.Collections@wwu.edu.
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