The Libraries strive to be thoughtful in their stewardship of funding and consider the sustainability and equity of purchasing and subscription models when evaluating resources. The budget for collections is managed by the Director of Libraries and in accordance with the college budgeting process. The Director of Libraries, Technical Services Librarian, and Electronic Resources Librarian form the Library Resource Acquisition Committee. Collection funds are divided between ongoing subscription databases and one-time purchases of books, eBooks, and other media. Once the funds are allocated, the following workflow commences:
The Committee presents the budget amount to the Faculty Librarians
Faculty Librarians establish purchasing priorities for the curation of each liaison area
Additional factors considered for prioritization include:
Community input regarding collection needs
Strengths and weaknesses of specific collections
Usage statistics per subject area
New college initiatives, programs, and courses
All accreditation requirements
As material costs continue to rise, the long-term sustainability of providing access to critical collections presents significant challenges for academic libraries. Ongoing subscription prices increase by an average of 5% annually. Consortial purchasing through institutional memberships- articulated below- keeps the annual price increases below the 5% average, reducing both resource cost and staff time.
The Libraries participate in several resource sharing programs. As a member of these consortia, the Libraries benefit from group pricing for expensive online resources and services:
Fenway Library Organization (FLO)
Higher Education Libraries of Massachusetts (HELM)
Massachusetts Commonwealth Consortium of Libraries in Public Higher Education Institutions, Inc. (MCCLPHEI)
Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO)
As a member of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and Massachusetts Library System, the Libraries receive access to the Statewide Databases at no cost.
As members of OCLC (WorldCat) and Massachusetts Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat), the Libraries share their resources with other member libraries through interlibrary loan and reciprocal borrowing arrangements.