Sometimes it’s great just to be good. Collection funding in the fiscal year just completed was just ordinary: almost $4 million spent between serials (82%, $3.3M) and books (18%, $.7M). Collection spending is variable, but these numbers come as close as can be to reflecting UNC Charlotte’s current “routine” collection needs. Last year, by contrast, was phenomenally good, including one-time money that purchased new databases and vast journal backfiles in digital format, resulting in the biggest one-year expansion of collections in Atkins’ history.
The fiscal year just completed included no comparable additions to collections, and strangely, this too is cause for celebration. At a time when the University at large has struggled to absorb a permanent $33M budget cut, and most other UNC system libraries have slashed collection funding, “routine” collecting looks like an improbable victory. For an institution with burgeoning student enrollment and research agenda, Charlotte’s support for current scholarship should be a point of pride. It certainly saves money in the long run, avoiding expensive work-arounds. A university community’s need for information doesn’t disappear when collection budgets are cut, it is just served in ways that are far more expensive. And that’s when the work-arounds are legal!