This week (some of you have overheard me gnashing my teeth over Excel….) Cheryl and I have been working on our preliminary budget for next year. Yes, we are in the black! That’s thanks to all of you for using our resources judiciously, and it’s also thanks to Cal Poly students and Larry Kelly for a couple of small but helpful increases in funding (a net increase of 1%!). Student Success Fees are helping us keep pace with vendor inflation. One cost going up is what we pay in publishers’ copyright for interlibrary borrowing beyond what CONTU guidlelines allow (http://copyright.lib.utexas.edu/l-108g.html). Another area where we’re increasing spending is on a modest increase to base funding for professional development for librarians and staff, to keep up with higher travel costs.
I’m excited about the progress that Nikki and David have been making on a journal cost analysis tool. David created an earlier version of this tool when he was in the UK. Since he joined us he has been working with Nikki to adapt and improve it. This “tool” (an Excel spreadsheet with the most impressive embedded formulas I’ve ever encountered) deserves a name. Let’s call it The Deal Breaker. It will help our libraries figure out if the Big Deal journal packages we get are a Good Deal for them. It looks at use, and costs, for each title we own, and provides a nifty way of comparing the value of journals from the Deal with other journals our users need (and that we don’t own, but might, if we weren’t paying that Big Publisher so much!). The tool will be available to CSU libraries as we review several major journal packages next year. Some campuses may find their best deal is No Deal. Or, we may collectively find that the Big Deal is in fact a good one, overall, and we can use this data to make a case for new funding from the Chancellor’s Office to maintain cost-effective across the system. So maybe we should call it The Deal Maker!
I’ve been thinking about communication. I have two quotes to share (and would love to hear your favorites):
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” (G. B. Shaw)
“It seems to me like one person saying ‘I walked to Grantchester this afternoon’ and another shouting “No, I did not!'” (F. L. Lucas, quoting Frank Ramsey)
If you’re coming up to campus for Open House have a great time, and enjoy the weekend!