New Mexico State University

University Library News Release

Date: September 16, 2010


CONTACT: Jeanette Smith, NMSU Library, (575) 646-7492,

NMSU Library Announces Materials Budget Reduction

The NMSU Library launched a large scale materials reduction project in spring 2010. Inflation rates for journals and databases continue to increase. The funding lines used to supplement the Library's materials budget, including indirect cost revenues and General Obligation Bond funds, have decreased. In order to balance the materials budget, a 27 per cent ($575,000) reduction of the materials budget was necessary.

The following criteria were used to guide decision-making for this project: high cost-low use titles, low cost-low use titles, titles with patterns of large cost increases over time and titles for which full-text access is available through other database subscriptions. Library staff worked together with other campus faculty to prioritize titles to minimize consequences for teaching and research.

The cancellations involve 723 print and electronic journals, databases, standing orders and microforms totaling $578,311.26 (in 2010 subscription prices). After December 2010, NMSU will no longer have access to these subscriptions. In addition, students, faculty and staff will lose access to over 1,300 journals from the Springer and Elsevier/Academic Press publishing groups. In order to make the necessary cancellations, multi-year and consortial packages with these publishers were discontinued. A list of titles from these discontinued packages is located at

The Library will continue to offer information delivery services such as Request It! but these services are vulnerable in a climate where the majority of academic libraries are also cutting subscriptions. Although interlibrary loan is an excellent way to provide access to infrequently-used articles, it can quickly become very expensive if large numbers of users request articles from the same journal resulting in the Library's paying copyright clearance or other fees to obtain information. For these reasons, interlibrary loan and document delivery alone will not offset journal cancellations.

The NMSU Library is not alone in facing this problem. Other academic libraries face similar challenges. Unless fundamental changes occur in the scholarly communication market, faculty, students and staff everywhere face a future of less access to information and at higher costs.

The NMSU Library is working to strengthen its ability to access information in this challenging environment. It is investigating new partnerships with other libraries to maximize access to resources while minimizing costs. It is also exploring digital preservation services to sustain archival access to its subscribed electronic collections. The NMSU Library looks to the successful passage of General Obligation Bond B, which will help offset inflation by approximately $313,223 for FY12. It will also continue to investigate alternative revenue streams needed to offset inflation and limit future cancellations. However, it anticipates that further cancellations will be necessary in the 2011-2012 academic year.

The Library thanks the community for its support with these difficult decisions. More information is available at Contact Susan Beck, Collection Development Coordinator, at (575) 646-6171 or email