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Posted on Jun 9, 2020

Open letter to our vendors

This article was written by CSU Libraries on June 9th, 2020.

To our academic library vendors: We — the California State University (CSU) Libraries — hope this letter finds all of the people in your organization in good health and your business minimally affected by the pandemic.

In anticipation of impending renewal and purchase discussions, the CSU Libraries want to be clear that we cannot agree to any materials or services price increases for the foreseeable future.  In fact, we will be asking for a 10% decrease in light of the Governor’s letter regarding CSU’s matching 10% budget cut. This is not a negotiation ploy — it is a recognition of economic realities. We fully expect a double hit to our budgets as the state reduces its financial support and students attend the university in lower numbers than in the past.

As a result, the CSU Council of Library Deans announces that we are unable to continue business as usual. We cannot commit to expenses that we cannot afford this year and next. In fact, we expect that we will be unable to pay any percentage increase in costs for at least the next two years. The CSUs have been long-term customers and we value our partnership. We look forward to conversations where we can discuss open access options and sustainable payment models. During this time, we can no longer accept the slow drip of annual price increases.

The landscape for academic library materials and services is clearly changing at the same time that the bottom has fallen out of our funding. At this dynamic inflection point in our relationship with those who provide our resources we need to develop a new approach to the pricing and marketing of those materials. We look forward to conversations that recognize the need for this shift and acknowledge the diminution of our funding.

Amy M. Kautzman
Dean & Director, University Library Sacramento State
Chair, CSU Council of Library Deans

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