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Have you just been told that you have to make cuts to your collection budget? Perhaps this is the first time you have faced cuts, and you don't know where to begin. Or maybe this is the third year in a row that you have had to cut your book budget, and you simply don't know what can be cut once again. Do you worry about the future of your collection, and how to continue to support your library's programs?

Don't despair. This workshop and your workshop colleagues will offer tips and guidelines so that you are prepared to:

  • Anticipate budget cuts and analyze your collection
  • Make strategic choices about which cuts to make
  • Keep your collection vibrant and useful to library users
  • Prepare, if necessary, for the next round of budget cuts

Workshop Description: Through individual and group exercises, this all-day lecture course will provide you with the basic skills you need to make strategic cuts to your collection budget. The instructor will provide practical exercises and useful tips that can be used immediately to deal with an immediate cut, as well as ongoing strategies for continuing to develop your collections, even in uncertain economic times. Shared experiences and ideas from all workshop students will enhance the workshop content.

Pre-workshop assignment: Workshop students should review their library's mission statement, long-range plan, or any other document that sets policy and direction for their library

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Prepare for Cuts Before They Happen
    • Key documents - mission statement, long-range plan, collection development policy
    • How your collection reflects your library purpose and policies
    • Statistical reports-usage patterns, holdings, turnover rates, demographics, benchmarks
    • Collection analysis, such as the OCLC Conspectus
    • Understanding your library budget and where the collection fits within the library and the local political context
  • Develop a Strategic Plan for Making Cuts
    • The nature of the cuts-one time, short term, long term
    • Deciding how cuts are going to be made
    • Communicating decisions to staff
  • Continue to Develop and Shape Your Collection
    • Documenting cuts for future reference
    • Dealing with any advantages to making cuts-a chance to shift priorities, prune a collection
    • Emphasizing the future collection, not its past strengths
    • Avoiding temptations to stop weeding, buy popular materials, ignore new formats, or move away from your long range plan
  • Tips and Techniques to Keep Your Collection Vibrant and Alive
    • Finding funds to do something new
    • Changing internal practices
    • Updating or creating written policies
    • Training staff
    • Preparing for the next budget cycle

Workshop Instructor: Carolyn M. Myers