University Library Advisory Council (ULAC)
ULAC is composed of the directors of the 17 University Libraries and a representative from UNC General Administration. The current Chair is Vicki Coleman, Dean of Library Services, NC A&T. Joyce Ogburn, Dean of Libraries, ASU, serves as Vice Chair/Chair Elect and Robin Boltz , Director of Library, Instructional Technologies, and Communications, NCSSM , serves as Secretary.
Efficiences Working Group
UNC E-Journal Efficiencies Working Group Assesment of Improvements in 2014
In early 2012, UNC General Administration and the NC Office of State Budget and Management hired an outside consultant (Dan Costello) to identify potential collaborative efficiencies of six program areas within the UNC System, one being e‑journal acquisitions. The consultant worked with UNC Libraries to gather and analyze the system’s e-journal cost and usage data for the calendar years 2009-11. His final report recommended that the UNC Libraries develop and implement a five year plan to improve the cost/benefit ratio of our e-journal subscriptions system-wide. ULAC responded by appointing the E‑Journal Efficiencies Working Group. The Working Group developed a multi-pronged strategy (see Appendix 1), including five annual assessments to ensure that the strategies produce positive results. This document is the third such annual report, focusing on 2014.
The Working Group collaborated with all 17 UNC System libraries to gather, validate, and normalize 2014 usage and price data for seven large academic journal publishers – Cambridge University Press, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, SAGE, Springer, Taylor & Francis, and Wiley. Compared to 2013, the 2014 UNC System-wide data show that:
- Our aggregate total cost rose by 3.2%, from $17.5 to $18.1 million
- Our aggregate total usage rose 9.3%, from 5.4 to 5.9 million
- Our aggregate average cost-per-use (CPU) fell, declining 5.6% from $3.22 to $3.04
- The aggregate total number of titles used at least ten times rose 4.2%, from 35,272 to 36,771
Compared to the first year of UNC System-wide data collection (2009), the 2014 data indicate that:
- Our aggregate total cost rose by 19.6% over the 5 year span, from $15.1 to $18.1 million
- Our aggregate total usage rose 58.6%, from 3.7 to 5.9 million
- Our aggregate average cost-per-use (CPU) fell, declining 24.6% from $4.04 to $3.04
- The aggregate total number of titles used at least ten times rose 33.6%, from 27,523 to 36,771
By most quantitative measures, the UNC System has improved the cost/benefit ratio of its e‑journal expenditures in 2014. Our spending increase of 3.2% was less than the average 2014 national journal inflation rate of 6% overall and 5.19% for publisher packages. Our usage surged by nearly 10%, resulting in a CPU decrease of nearly 6%. Unfortunately, significant 2013/14 budget cuts at many institutions forced cancellations, resulting in an overall 2.3% decrease in the number of major publisher journals available to our faculty, students, and the people of North Carolina
Two major factors contributed to the overall positive results for 2014. First, the Carolina Consortium five year deals for Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley were up for renewal for the period beginning January 2014. Working together across the system and with other institutions state-wide, UNC schools were able to negotiate significant reductions in the inflation rate for 2014-18 for each of these deals. Because these three publishers account for a large percentage of system expenditures on major publisher e-journals, the cumulative system-wide savings from the reduction in inflationary increase will exceed one million dollars over the five year license terms.
The second major factor contributing to our collective success in 2014 is the thoughtful, collaborative, and data-driven decision making processes that each of the seventeen UNC institutions have used to evaluate their e-journal subscriptions and make appropriate decisions to renew or cancel. Because our schools differ in curriculum, size, and research foci, the criteria and metrics for decision-making processes will, of course, differ somewhat from campus to campus. But we all share the same commitment to collaborative, data-driven decision making to ensure that we are spending our collections budgets as effectively as possible.
The Working Group acknowledges that our data analysis is based solely on quantitative cost and usage data and thus cannot present a complete picture of e-journal efficiency. For example, a purely quantitative analysis presents any high-cost, low-use journal as “inefficient.” But even a low-use title can have high impact, and its cancellation could result in difficulty recruiting or retaining faculty and graduate students, in the inability to bring in a large grant, or in damage to classroom instruction. Those negative impacts certainly would not be considered “efficiencies” on UNC campuses! It is unfortunate that we cannot more fully address title-by-title qualitative measures in this report, but it is not possible to do that adequately for 5+ million uses over tens of thousands of journal subscriptions at 17 different institutions.
Our 2014 cost and usage data for the seven largest academic journal publishers show that the 17 UNC System libraries became more efficient with respect to e-journals. The Working Group will continue to seek additional efficiencies, with the caveat that at some point we face the likelihood of diminishing returns on our efforts.
Tim Bucknall (UNCG) – Chair
Rachel Fleming (ASU)
Kate Silton (NC A&T)
Christine Stachowicz (UNC-CH)
 Bosch, Stephen, and Kittie Henderson. “Steps Down the Evolutionary Road: Periodicals Price Survey 2014”. Library Journal, April 11, 2014. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/04/publishing/steps-down-the-evolution....
University Library Advisory Council Cooperative Direct Borrowing Agreement
This COOPERATIVE LIBRARY LENDING AGREEMENT brings together the participating libraries of the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina in a cooperative direct borrowing program that constitutes one aspect of a policy of broad sharing of library resources.
PERSONS ELIGIBLE AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURES
Eligible participants in this program include faculty, students, and staff who can be identified in their home library's patron database. To facilitate this identification a UNC Patron Authentication web page has been created. It is currently located at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/borrow/unc. It is the responsibility of the home library to maintain on the UNC Patron Authentication page current information about the classes and statuses of individuals who can borrow library materials under this agreement. It is the responsibility of the home library to insure that their patrons receive instruction on how to access their patron records and that this information is available on its website.
Once it has been determined that a patron is eligible to borrow library materials under this agreement, the lending library is responsible for registering the borrower in its own database as a ULAC Cooperative Borrower. Policies governing the ULAC Cooperative Borrower class are to be determined by the lending library. Patrons must present a photo ID at registration and checkout to allow patron identification.
Privileges shall include bookstack access and home-use borrowing. All materials borrowed under this agreement shall be subject to the ULAC Cooperative Borrower patron class guidelines of the lending library. All loan procedures and all charges assessed the cooperative user for overdue books, lost books, or damaged materials shall likewise, be based on the policies of the lending library.
The lending library reserves the right to refuse borrowing and building-use privileges to any individual who violates the regulations of that library. Any library may deny cooperative borrowing privileges to any prospective borrower who is delinquent at his or her home library or in any of the cooperating libraries.
COOPERATIVE MEMBER RESPONSIBILITIES
The lending library is responsible for collecting fines and, where appropriate, replacement and processing costs from delinquent patrons. If all reasonable attempts to retrieve library materials from patrons are unsuccessful, the home library will reimburse the lending library for the materials and processing costs. The home library will not be responsible for paying the lending library for fines accrued.
The lending library shall set policies regarding the collection of delinquent fines and reimbursement. These policies should be posted by the lending library on its Patron Authentication page.
Adopted by the University Library Advisory Council May 23, 2003.