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Library Collection Budget Assessment

Details on Arthur Lakes Library collection budget.

The Rising Cost of Subscription Resources

Each year, Arthur Lakes Library negotiates with publishers and vendors to provide access to the databases and journals that advance Colorado School of Mines world-changing research and transformative instruction. Unfortunately, the cost of these resources rises by 4-8% annually, far outpacing the rate of inflation and the realistic constraints of university budgets. When we negotiate with publishers, we seek contracts that are affordable, sustainable, and transparent, but sometimes publishers insist on significant increases that far exceed available funding. Mines is not alone in challenging these unsustainable increases- academic libraries of all sizes across the nation face the same reality.  See news from University of California at Berkeley, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Kansas State University, and University of Iowa for a few examples.

What Are FY 21 Projections?

  • Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-20 Library materials budget was $2,001,464Library Materials Expenditures Pie Chart
  • Projections for FY 2020-21 inflation of serials (which accounts for 92.16% of overall materials budget) are 6.66%
    • Calculated based on actual renewal costs
    • Whenever possible we participate in consortia deals as well as multi-year contracts to limit costs & inflation
  • The Library requested a 6.66% inflation factor for serials in the amount of $122,847 for a total budget request of $2,124,311


  • The budget approved for FY 21 is $1,950,963
    • Resulting in a 2.52% reduction from the previous FY and a total loss of buying power of 8.67% ($173,348)

The library will employ a stopgap strategy of utilizing endowment funds to help mitigate the impact but existing subscriptions will still need to be cancelled.

How does the library’s materials budget compare to that of other institutions?

Answer: Comparative 2017-18 Materials Budget Data For Our IPEDS Peer Institutions

Institution Name FTE Total Per Student
California Institute of Technology 2,233 $3,175,554 $1,422
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 11,276 $11,407,017 $1,012
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 1,655 $1,293,500 $782
Michigan Technological University 6,641 $3,129,787 $471
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 6,127 $2,672,360 $436
Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus 27,894 $8,992,424 $322
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7,989 $2,463,255 $308
Colorado School of Mines 6,085 $1,778,755 $292
Missouri University of Science and Technology 7,357 $1,582,849 $215
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 2,313 $455,083 $197
New Jersey Institute of Technology 9,041 $1,595,778 $177

Do you have any other general data on historical materials infaltion?

Answer: Yes. Library materials inflation is a broadly recognized challenge in academia.

EBSCO's 5 year journal price index


The following chart from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) provides visual evidence of the annual price pressures for both monographs (books) and serials (journals) between 1998-2018

ARL's serials price increases