September 2011 – Volume 5 – Number 8

Economic Downturn Finally Affects HS/HSL

M.J. Tooey

M.J. Tooey
Executive Director

No library director likes to write this type of article.

Here in the Health Sciences and Human Services Library we have been very fortunate during the current recession. The last time we had to eliminate journals and databases due to budget issues was back in 2005. Since then we have been very prudent with our expenditures, and while we haven’t added resources, we’ve pretty much maintained the status quo. This was accomplished by carefully evaluating just what was needed: converting our journal collection to almost all electronic (we are at about 99%), decreasing our book purchases (although increasing e-books), and partnering with other campus units to provide resources such as RefWorks and AccessPharmacy.

The campus, in particular Administration and Finance, and Academic Affairs, has been very generous and supportive by helping us to eliminate a serious structural deficit and covering resource cost overages as they have occurred. However, this year the Library budget is flat, which with subscription cost increases and inflation, amounts to a 7% decrease or about $150,000 in resources. This is a very difficult step to take at a time when our campus is growing in stature and getting ready to launch a new strategic plan that encourages creative thinking and a goal of pre-eminence. But if there is no money, there is no money.

If I can indulge in a little self-reflection, I believe that quality information resources and knowledge systems underpin a great university, whether in the area of research, education, clinical care, or even competitive intelligence. I am comforted by the fact that the Library faculty and staff, who really ARE the Library, continue to find creative and effective ways to bridge the gaps with excellent services and support for your needs.

I invite you to read the following two articles regarding the journal elimination methodology and our plans to get information to you more quickly. Please contact me with your questions, concerns, and ideas regarding the journal cuts. It’s important to hear from you.

Cancellation Project Methodology

The Faculty Librarians at the HS/HSL know how important timely access to scholarly information is to our campus and deeply regret having to cancel journal subscriptions. Budget constraints, however, dictated that we cut around $150,000 from our expenditures this fiscal year. The process to decide which titles to cancel was thoughtful and based on the best evidence we could gather.

The first step was to examine usage metrics. Every time a researcher downloads a full-text article, the publisher makes a record of it. Collection Management Department staff gathered these counts then divided the cost of the journal by the number of full-text uses. This gives a figure we call cost-per-use. (Cost of journal /number of full-text downloads = cost-per-use). Using this information, we compiled a set of journals that had a cost-per-use of over $20 and with fewer than 100 full-text downloads in 2010. The price of the journals that met these criteria equaled around $170,000.

Liaison and Outreach Services Faculty Librarians who represent each school to the Library then examined the list to decide which titles to retain. Some of the criteria they used were the impact factor of the journal and its reputation in the discipline, the number of full-text downloads so far in 2011, and whether other USM institutions had a current subscription to the journal. Our goal during the entire process was to create the least negative impact on the campus while staying within our budgetary limits.

Resource Sharing – Working for You

In these difficult economic times, with cuts to our collections and shrinking budgets, where can you turn to obtain the articles and books you need? The answer is the HS/HSL Resource Sharing Department. We work diligently to find the most cost-effective way to obtain items not in HS/HSL collections. We work with University System of Maryland (USM) libraries to provide articles from their collections free of charge to our faculty, staff and students.

If we need to go outside the USM for an article or book, we look for the best value we can find. We may request these items from other libraries, the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), or directly from the publisher. We recently joined the CCC program which works with publishers to obtain reasonable pricing for articles. By controlling our costs, we can continue to provide free items to students while charging only $8 per item to faculty and staff for books and articles not in the USM system. The $8 fee covers about 1/4 to 1/3 the actual cost of obtaining an article or book.

When we receive a request for an item not owned by the HS/HSL, we process it and send it to a lending library or supplier, usually within 24 hours. Once the request is sent, we have no control over the time it takes for the item to arrive. Items from libraries take from two days to two weeks to arrive but cost less than items from the CCC and publishers, which take only 24 to 48 hours to arrive. The challenge is to get a quick turnaround time at a reasonable cost. We continue to monitor the situation, always looking for the best value.

Coming Soon: When the subscriptions to the 87 cancelled journals end in January, we will be piloting a new program aimed at getting articles from these titles in a fast, cost-effective way.

For more information about Interlibrary Loan, visit our website. If you have questions, please email us.

Publishing Ethics Event


The HS/HSL and Elsevier Publishing invite you to an event on Publishing Ethics. Join us on October 18 at 9:30 a.m. in the SMC Campus Center, Ballroom A & B, as we hear from researchers, publishers, editors, and others with an interest in publishing ethics. Dr. Steve Munger, Professor at the University’s School of Medicine, is a featured speaker. Other speakers include Dr. Ellen Silbergeld, Professor and Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Research, and Mark Seeley, Senior VP and General Counsel at Elsevier. For more information, check out the complete program.

The Publishing Ethics event is part of the Library’s Scholarly Communication Series.

Registration for this free event is required.

Are You Crazy for Harry Potter?

Historical and Special Collections

Harry Potter’s World letterhead with owl

Excitement is building at the HS/HSL as Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine arrives. The exhibit uses materials from the National Library of Medicine to explore Harry Potter’s magical world and its roots in Renaissance science. The exhibit will be in the HS/HSL Weise Gallery from September 18 – November 5.

Don’t forget to complete the “Potter Puzzle” as you explore the panels! Answer the questions correctly to be included in gift card drawings during the exhibition and at the final Halloween event.

Join us for these events during the exhibition:

  • Exhibit Opening Reception
    Eat cake, browse the exhibit, and complete the Potter Puzzle
    Monday, September 26, 2011 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., HS/HSL Weise Gallery
  • Lecture: The Medicinal Magic of Modern Compounding: Potions Class for the 21st Century
    Richard Dalby, Professor & Associate Dean, School of Pharmacy
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., HS/HSL Distance Ed, Lower Level LL02
  • Halloween with Harry
    Join us for food and the final Potter Puzzle drawing (costumes optional)
    Monday, October 31, 2011 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., HS/HSL Weise Gallery

The exhibition is organized by the National Library of Medicine and coordinated by the American Library Association Public Programs Office. For more information, visit the Weise Gallery website or call 410.706.7996.

Workshop Highlight: Workshops in 30

Can’t make one of the Library’s hour-long workshops? Consider attending a Workshop in 30. The HS/HSL offers a series of workshops that cover a topic in 30 minutes. Upcoming Workshops in 30 include:

  • Facebook Privacy in 30: We will explore various Facebook privacy issues and show you ways to change Facebook account settings so you can better control what you share and who is able to see your posts.
  • Medical Apps for Mobile Technology in 30: Want to learn more about medical apps for different devices such as Blackberries, iPhones, and iPads? This workshop will introduce you to a variety of medical apps including Calculate by QxMD and Micromedex Drug Interactions.

Workshops are free for all University of Maryland Faculty, Students, and Staff, and UMMC Staff. For full course descriptions and registration for these and other fall workshops, visit our Workshops web page.

Digital Archive Highlight

College of Medicine of Maryland

The History of the Campus Collection in the UM Digital Archive contains works that highlight the rich history of our schools. Here is the 1807 act passed by the Maryland State Legislature establishing the College of Medicine of Maryland, forerunner of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the first public medical school in the United States.

The Archive contains a wide variety of content – not only items from the distant past but current works as well, such as the latest dissertations. Join us in building the Archive by sending us your content. If you have questions about the Archive, email us.

New Content in the Digital Archive

College of Medicine of Maryland

Dissertations and theses written by students here at the University of Maryland are now being entered into the Digital Archive. The spring 2011 batch was loaded in June 2011. Full-text access is available for most; however, some will only have basic descriptive information due to the fact that the author has chosen to place an embargo on the full-text. These will become available once the embargo period has ended. We want to thank Erin Golembewski, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, who worked with us to make this possible.

Reports from the Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children have been entered. We want to thank the director Dr. Diane DePanfilis, School of Social Work for her contribution. These reports are now available via the web with a permanent URL and will be preserved for the future.

From the HS/HSL Historical and Special Collections we have added:

  • The Clinic (1907-1916) – Yearbook of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Baltimore (merged with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1915)
  • Hospital Bulletin (1905-1916) – Monthly journal of medicine and surgery edited by a committee of the hospital staff. Published for the alumni and friends of the University of Maryland
  • The Mirror (1901-1989) – Yearbook of the Dental School
  • Old Maryland continued as the University Gazette (1905-1917) – Devoted to the interests of the University of Maryland (Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Pharmacy)
  • P.R.N., continued as the Pledge (1932-1983) – Yearbook of the School of Nursing
  • University Hospital Nurses’ Alumnae Bulletin continued as Bulletin Nurses’ Alumnae Association University of Maryland (1921-1980) – School of Nursing

If you have content that you would like to contribute or questions about the Digital Archive, please email us.

Welcome New HS/HSL Staff!

Trina Altman

Trina Altman, MLS, joins us from the University of Kentucky Medical Center Library as a Reference Technician. You can find Trina answering questions at the Reference Desk.
Kristie Thomas

Kristie Thomas joins us from the University of Maryland Law Library to work as a Library Associate in the HS/HSL Administrative Suite.

Abra Schnur

Abra Schnur is a welcome addition to the Circulation Department, where she works on Reserves and the Circulation Desk.
Sarah Hovde

Sarah Hovde is a Reference Technician working at the Reference Desk part time while continuing her studies in Library Science and History at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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