Pilot for One Shared Monograph Fund



Dear Department Chairs and Library Representatives:

I am writing to let you know about a change to how University Libraries will manage monographic funds (or what we call one-time acquisitions). This year we will pilot one shared fund for monograph orders. We believe this funding structure will help us all manage our monographic collection needs more efficiently and do a better job of helping you acquire the materials you need for teaching and research.

Why Was Change Needed?

Overtime changing collections needs and inflation has diminished the overall funds available for monographs. Here are some facts that have made us consider this new approach.

  • Over the last ten years our funds dedicated to monographic purchasing have dropped from roughly $950,000 to $500,000. This is largely due to inflation on recurring collections expenses (i.e., journals), but has also been influenced by increasingly available online content (e.g., eBooks, streaming media, etc.).
  • As this decrease has happened, we have seen new acquisitions patterns emerge at the departmental level. Some departments have increasingly become less dependent on monographs, while others have maintained quite a healthy demand. This has resulted in funds sometimes going unspent in some areas, while other areas have wanted to overspend. We believe that a shared monograph fund will enable us to actually spend all of our monograph funds for needed resources, allowing available funds to more easily flow to areas that need them
  • Interdisciplinary needs have also emerged over the last several years. These needs have often times resulted in confusion. Which fund should this be purchased from? Should this really be debited to another area? This single fund will do away with these confusions. We will just go ahead and try to get the materials, if they’re needed.
  • Redirecting our conversation from spending to specific limits to focusing on curricular and research needs will be healthy for everyone. This is not to say that “need” hasn’t always been an important factor, but sometimes we spend to our budget levels, rather than our need levels. We think this shared approach will help keep the focus on our needs.
  • Managing multiple small funds is simply not efficient. One shared fund will be more easily managed and allow for increased flexibility.

What Will Change?

  • Library representatives will no longer receive monthly allocation statements.
  • We just want to hear what you need and how the requested items help support those needs, which by the way, is what we have always wanted to hear from you.
  • We will continue to depend upon department library representatives to help subject librarians select resources for their discipline, that communication and ordering process will remain the same.

This is a pilot

We have only committed to try this out. If it doesn’t work, we certainly will try another approach. We welcome questions throughout the year and will report back in May on how this has worked. For additional information, including frequently asked questions, please our shared mono web page: www.library.kent.edu/sharedmono.

Please direct question to Kay Downey, interim head of collections & technical services (mdowney1@kent.edu) or to your subject librarian.

Best regards,