Tighter budgets prompt university libraries to make adjustments

National 2 minutes, 10 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BUDGET constraints and the need for better assessment tools are common problems that need to be addressed by university libraries, said a delegate to a regional meeting.

“We all only have a very limited pool of money to work with and face the issue of complex workflows of acquiring, managing and accessing new resources,” said National University of Singapore Senior Librarian Cheng Eng Aun in his speech during the closing ceremony of the 12th ASEAN University Network Inter-Library Online (AUNILO) meeting held yesterday at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

“We need to develop skill sets and frameworks for efficient and effective eResource evaluation and assessment. (Libraries) need to be accountable to our stakeholders and foster a culture of assessment,” he said.

Cheng said these assessments were necessary to help measure the value of their resources and determine whether they are receiving their return on investment.

During the speech, he said the meeting and workshop has been successful in sharing valuable information and best practices among the universities in identifying and meeting the current trends and demands of the users.

“The cost sharing arrangement which (was discussed and agreed during the meeting) allows libraries to share costs with (each other such as) through call centres and research units so that we can utilise our funds effectively,” said Cheng.

UBD Senior Librarian Merhane Mohamed Salleh said during an interview that UBD library has made changes to accommodate the budget constraints.

“We do have to cut down some of our eResources due to budget constraints, but we also (need to evaluate) the use of certain resources. We have found and cut some resources due to low usage not just because of the budget constraints,” said Merhane.

She added that the library will need to better market and assess their eResources to ensure that the students are aware of the resources and the library is getting their return on investment.

She also said that in light of the reduction of eResources, collaboration with other universities will be conducted to expand their services.

“With the reduction of access to some of the eResources, we will share information with other university libraries among this region and work with each other. For example, any resources that a library is unable to acquire or has no access to, we can actually contact each other to get these resources,” said Merhane.

All 23 university library representatives received a certificate for participation in the meeting and workshop yesterday which was presented by UBD Acting Chief Librarian Hj Awang Muhammad Yussuf POKIDDP HJ Musa.

The Brunei Times