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-- Wed., October 31, 2002 --

Raymond H. Fogler Library
5729 Fogler Library
Orono, Maine 04469-5729

DATE: October 31, 2002
TO: University of Maine Faculty
FROM: Elaine M. Albright, Dean of Cultural Affairs and Libraries
RE: Library Update


On April 23, 2002 I wrote to you asking for your help in assigning a
usefulness rating to each of Fogler Library's journal titles. We very much
appreciate the time and care you took to inform us of your information
needs. As noted in my April 23rd letter, the reason for revisiting this
process was and continues to be high inflation costs coupled with several
years of flat funding. FY 2002 cancellations totaled $220,500 but
unfortunately were insufficient to meet budget requirements which mandated
that $615,418 of journals be cancelled. I am writing to you now to give
you an update on the second round of cancellations.

Faculty rankings of all journals, along with the letters you have written to
me and my staff outlining the research and teaching importance of many of
those journals have been shared and discussed with campus administration.
No financial help has been forthcoming. Since cancellation of all journals
rated "3" were insufficient to meet the need, it has become necessary to
cancel journals that you have ranked "1" and "2". It is with regret the
library staff has cancelled a significant number of the titles. Journals
cut this October will cease to be received January 1, 2003. Please also
remember that journals cut last semester will cease to be received as of
December 31, 2002. (A complete list of the cancellations is available from
the library's web site at

The total number of journals cut since FY 2000 is 878, for a total of
$483,000. Even with these further cancellations the library remains short of
its budgetary requirements. Continued lack of inflation money along with
lack of financial help will cause yearly cancellations, further eroding the
information available for teaching and research. In FY98 the library
subscribed to 5,400 journals. In FY03 our subscriptions total 4,322 a
total loss of 1,078 in the last five years.


Fogler Library has made impressive strides in obtaining money from the
UMaine System and the legislature to create a digital library. But
information in digital format is still in its infancy and the selection and
pricing of digital information fluctuates unpredictably. Some resources
purchased in digital format have disappeared within months of their
appearance, while prices for other databases have doubled, making them
virtually unaffordable. Often electronic resources are priced to support
both paper copies and electronic copies and so cancellations of paper
journals leads to minimal or no savings and a discontinuation of the
availability of electronic access. In all but a few cases there is no
acceptable archival access to information purchased electronically, and once
the paper subscription is cancelled the library is severely compromised if
it cannot meet the increasing prices of the publisher, because both past and
future information is lost. This is the case for on-line journals received
from Elsevier.

Science Direct, our online access to over 1,100 Elsevier titles, will not be
renewed when it comes due in December for the following reasons:

1. Too large of a percentage of paper titles have been cancelled, according
to the contract
2. The cost of the on-line product has more than doubled
3. Our ability to negotiate a better contract was compromised when a
deadline for response was not met by the University.

Elsevier journals that remain on our subscription list will be available
on-line from Ebsco in the Academic Premier database. All other journal arti
cles can be purchased on a case-by-case basis or will be available through
interlibrary loan.


It has been a difficult few years here at Fogler Library for the staff,
faculty, and students who depend on us for information. Unfortunately the
budgetary prospects do not appear to be improving and it will be important
for the campus to work together creatively to find a solution to the growing
number of problems facing the library - space, inflation, and low salaries
to name a few. It is important to remember that Fogler Library is a key
support structure to the research and education mission of this University,
and it will take all of us working together to solve the erosion of this

In the next few weeks I will ask the Chair of the Faculty Senate to create a
task force on Libraries that includes faculty, students, library staff, and
University administration to review the status of libraries at the
University of Maine and make recommendations about the future role Fogler
Library will play at the University, in the System, and in the State.



Distributed by the Fogler Library, The University of Maine, Orono, Maine.
Please send comments or requests for more information on news items to
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