Library DrawingThe CONNector

APRIL 2001Volume 3 Number 2

Proposed Budget Cut for Information Resources

Lynne Newell, Director, Division of Information Resources

With all of the emphasis on the Internet, it is easy to forget that printed information resources are still the foundation of any library. This is one reason the Governor's proposed budget is so troubling. The Connecticut State Library has traditionally budgeted for information resources in two budget lines. Equipment - Law (008) funded resources for the Law & Legislative Reference Unit. The Library Materials line item (022) was used to acquire all the other books, serials, and other formats of information needed to support the various services of the State Library. The budget proposes combining both line items into one line (024), and then cuts the combined line by $80,000 from the FY01 total. The actual decrease in the Library's purchasing power is much greater than $80,000 because just staying even requires inflationary increases commensurate with the publishing industry's rate of increase. In addition to print and microform resources, the State Library acquires and subscribes to many electronic information resources, but these also cost money and are paid for through the 008 and 022 accounts.

The average annual increase in the price of journals, law reporters, treatises, annual statistical reference volumes, newspapers, or other serial titles has been 9% over the past five years. Careful analysis of the library's currently received titles projects an overall increase of 8.75% for the FY02 year for a total cost of $800,323 in FY02. The Governor's proposal of $758,573 is $41,750 short of being able to maintain just these current serial titles. At an average cost of $141 per title, 296 titles will have to be cancelled.

In the current fiscal year (FY01), the combined library materials budget of $838,573 allows for purchase of $102,644 worth of new titles in addition to maintaining $735,929 of existing serial subscriptions. Under the Governor's proposed budget critically needed core serial titles will be cancelled and no new titles will be purchased for the Library at 231 Capitol Ave. or the Service Centers.

Maintenance of current titles and purchase of a modest amount of new titles would require anadditional $198,000 to the proposed appropriation for an FY02 total of $956,573. An additional $279,808 would be required in FY03 for a total of $1,038,381.

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