39 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 292 2017 database purchases for Utah’s academic libraries Education of elected officials that STEM journals increase in cost 7–9% annually the cost of maintaining the current collection of UALC journals is currently increasing by $55,000 a year. Reminders that UALC’s last budget increase was in 2008, before the onset of the Great Recession, and the consortium sustained budget reductions in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Without an increase in funding in 2016, there would be a reduction in subscriptions that would affect the smaller institutions in rural areas the most. In addition, the leadership of UALC and its legislative advisor met with representatives of the Governor’s Budget Office to advocate for an increase in the governor’s budget, although the governor’s budget is advisory in nature and mostly symbolic. It is the legislature that can add and omit items from the governor’s budget and ultimately approves the final state budget, which is then signed or vetoed by the governor. In 2016, the appropriation increases sought by UALC did not make the governor’s budget because revenue forecasts predicted that there would be little new money in the state budget these forecasts would later prove wrong. The 2016 election brought forth new membership in the Utah Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as new leadership within the Utah Legislature. The new committee membership included representatives who were employed at higher education institutions in Utah, including an adjunct instructor of political science, a tenured associate professor of sociology, a retired university president, and a senior development officer. At no point in the conversation for a funding increase for UALC did library deans and directors ever assume that pursuing a funding increase for UALC would be easier because of the new composition of the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Rather the new makeup of the committee was looked upon as an opportunity to work with elected officials who understood firsthand the challenges libraries face when it comes to funding in higher education.
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