64  ·  Survey Results:  Survey Questions and Responses
used to purchase materials result in reduced acquisitions and much longer shipping times due to reliance on surface
mail through postal systems. Other challenges include shortage of space, and need for more staff, especially dedicated
acquisitions staff. For Slavic resources, the challenge is getting materials from Eastern Europe; shipment can be slow,
as can mechanism for ordering (credit card processing is slow with smaller vendors). For Western Europe, a particular
challenge (for German resources) is the licensing agreements, which are always on an FTE basis.
Exchange rate fluctuations make it a challenge for budgeting purposes—have tried to set up a contingency fund. Much
time needed to set up an approval plan, slower service from overseas vendors. Have not found a means of getting
around these last two.
Expansion of programs: for years, Duke relied on UNC to collect Chinese language materials, but the Duke program
expanded to more than 40 faculty and was focused on areas UNC was not collecting. So the agreement has been
changed (Duke now collects post-Cultural Revolution) and a librarian hired to provide service. Need for language
expertise in acquisitions and cataloging—solutions have ranged from hiring staff, to outsourcing cataloging ,to having
the subject librarian assist with original cataloging, to shifting to LC (from Dewey), which enhances the library’s ability
to use copy. Acquisition of materials from overseas—solutions include LC Cooperative Acquisitions plans, and travel to
country to establish contacts and build relationships.
Flat Budgets: We experience several challenges due to flat budgets. First, publishing is expanding within our regions,
and our buying power is dropping. Yet we are still expected to purchase core materials for faculty. At the same time,
there is more emphasis on global studies at the university. The programs are expanding, and new programs are being
created. There are new programs for the Middle East and for South Asia. We do not have any extra funds to devote to
these programs. Librarians serve on the executive boards of our area centers. We have a close relationship to faculty and
so we have a forum within which to explain the library’s budget limitations. Our explanations do not halt the need for
program expansions, but it does at least make them aware of our challenges. Most of the area studies units also have
large exchange programs. All other gift and exchange programs have been eliminated but ours. This supplements our
collections and helps us add grey material and ephemera to the collections. We also belong to cooperative programs
within CRL and our small regional consortiums. Some of the regional consortiums have been able to negotiate joint
purchases of electronic resources. Others have been able to divide up collecting responsibilities in certain regions or
countries. One project will ensure the preservation of all hard copy serials indexed in the Hispanic American Periodical
Index (HAPI). De-emphasis on print monographs: Electronic and digital resources get increasingly more of the resources
than traditional resources. This is the way of the future. Therefore, at our institution, traditional monographs budgets
are under constant attack. This is despite the fact that our academic programs meet all the criteria for giving a fund
more money: the most prestigious programs on campus, increased number of students, increased number of new
faculty positions, and those programs favored by the administration. There is an emphasis on using circulation data for
resource allocation. Since our foreign language titles don’t circulate as much as titles in English, we are always fighting
to keep our funds from being cut. Circ data for five years is used as a basis to cut funds. We did our own study of circ
data, and discovered that although our books do not circulate as much during the first five years, after that five year
mark the circ statistics go way up. We are also told that we can no longer and should not collect for the future. This is
a challenge for unique research collections like ours. We see ourselves as a research collection and there has also been
a de-emphasis on being a research library. We have begun to describe our collections as niche collections. Fifty-eight
percent of the collections are area studies collections, and the area studies collections, specifically Ibero-American,
Slavic, and East Asian, are the strongest collections and are nationally known. We have also begun to talk about area
studies collections as Special Collections. I strongly believe that our future survival lies in being identified as being part
of Special Collections. I also educate our administrators on the global digital divide. That is, since countries vary in
their technology infrastructure, we are decades away from being able to purchase the electronic and digital resources
that our undergraduates crave and our collection development managers prioritize. Lack of Space: We are all facing
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