The Changing Of The Guard, Or : Moving From Print To "E" With A New Financial Model

Engelbrecht, Johan
January 2004
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2004, Vol. 14, preceding p1
Conference Proceeding
The Changing of the Guard, or Moving from Print to "E" with a new Financial Model. Johan Engelbrecht, Univ of Stellenbosch During the past decade academic libraries all over the world have been faced with escalating costs which made budgeting for information resources, and especially academic journals, a nightmare. Libraries in South Africa were no exception, and the matter was made worse by the continuous weakening of the South African currency against major overseas currencies such as the Dollar and the Euro. In 2002 alone the South African Rand weakened by as much as 40% against the American Dollar. This paper is presented in the form of a case study of how the problem has been addressed for the 2004/2005 budget at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, using a new model for budgeting, together with a rapid move away from printed journals in favour of full text electronic journals. The overall objective was to accomplish a 14% saving on the materials budget for 2004/2005, against the background of an annual increase of more than 20% during the past decade. The process of introducing the model of Responsibility Center Management (RCM) is being described. The model differs from the more traditional model where all the funds of the University went into a central pool from where it was allocated to the different faculties and service departments according to their needs. In the RCM model all the funds go to the faculties initially. Every Responsibility Center is responsible for its own funds, and budgets for service departments such as the library is made available in the form of levies. Whilst the former more traditional model used a very rigid budget allocation formula, the new model is much more flexible and the deans of faculties are more involved in the process. The project with the aim of moving away from printed journals to full text electronic journals and a pay per view document delivery process, which runs concurrently with the RCM project is also described. The involvement of the faculties in this process is described and some of the initial outcomes of the two projects are presented.


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