There is no amount of money that a research library is not prepared to spend on collections. More is always better, even if the increments of benefit get progressively smaller as expenditures go up. The problem is that even declining benefits can be excellent investments. How to know?
The answer is easy at UNC Charlotte: there is no black hole.
The reason is research. UNCC currently has 19 Ph.D. programs, the oldest of which date back only to about 1995. Prior to that point, Atkins maintained only 5,000 subscriptions, a “current awareness” collection perfectly suited to the university’s needs at the time. Now Atkins maintains about 40,000 journal titles, but with only spotty backfiles. Digital backfiles are expensive, but their outrageously high use makes them the best collections investment the Library could possibly make. And no, they are not endless in number!