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Downsizing in Academic Libraries

Downsizing in Academic Libraries: The Canadian Experience

Ethel Auster
Shauna Taylor
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 190
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  • Book Info
    Downsizing in Academic Libraries
    Book Description:

    The 1990s provided many challenges for Canadian academic library managers. Financial cutbacks at the federal and provincial levels quickly trickled down to universities and their libraries, and administrators were forced to learn how to manage with shrinking budgets.

    Ethel Auster and Shauna Taylor'sDownsizing in Academic Librariesis a comprehensive study of the trials faced by Canadian academic libraries in the 1990s. The authors surveyed opinions from over 1100 librarians from across the country. Based on these surveys, they describe how downsizing was implemented, its impact on programs and services, organizational climate, and employees, and the legacy of downsizing on user services and program delivery. Their study also includes a statistical portrait of library expenditures, holdings, and staffing levels set against trends in enrolment for the period 1982–83 to 1997 –98.

    Downsizing in Academic Librarieswill be of interest to policy makers in government, universities, and libraries; to managers and staffs of academic libraries; to researchers, teachers, and students of organizational strategies, processes, and behaviour, and library and information studies; and to all stakeholders of academic libraries who are interested in what has taken place over the past decade as a result of downsizing in Canadian academic research libraries.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7404-2
    Subjects: Library Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-10)

    The 1990s was a very difficult period for Canadian universities. For almost a decade, governments cut back their expenditures on higher education, which meant that universities received substantially less money from them. Reductions in government support forced universities to rely more heavily on alternate non-public sources of revenue such as tuition fees, investment income, gifts, donations, and contracts and grants from the private sector. Yet despite these other sources of funding, universities have not been able to make up for the loss in government funding. Since 1993, the real level of government support, adjusted for inflation, is down by an...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Perspectives on Downsizing in the Literatures of Management and Library Science
    (pp. 11-35)

    To ground our study, we undertook a literature review, which we summarize here in two sections. First, we explored organizational downsizing with specific attention to how downsizing is defined, the strategies used to accomplish it, the processes used to manage it, and the ensuing consequences associated at the level of both the individual and the organization. Second, we examined the literature on downsizing as it pertains to the field of library science.

    Downsizing has been a pervasive phenomenon of the workplace since the mid-1980s. Today, downsizing represents one of management's most widely used organizational strategies (Vanderheiden, De Meuse, and Bergmann...

  8. CHAPTER 3 National and Regional Trends in Enrolment, Expenditures, Holdings, and Staffing Levels
    (pp. 36-86)
    Donna Chan

    To what extent did downsizing take place in academic libraries?The purpose of this chapter is to answer that question by presenting a statistical overview of Canadian academic research libraries during the fifteen-year period covering the academic years 1982/83 through 1997/98. Data on student enrolments, expenditures, staffing levels, and holdings of libraries were collected from Statistics Canada and from the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). These data provide the background against which the downsizing took place.

    The trends described in this chapter are representative of CARL academic libraries. Membership in CARL is open primarily to libraries of Canadian universities...

  9. CHAPTER 4 The Management of Downsizing
    (pp. 87-110)

    How was downsizing implemented in academic libraries?The initial concern of organizations is how to accomplish the downsizing. Decisions must be made as to what segments of the organization will be targeted for downsizing and what strategies will be used to accomplish the downsizing. Once the downsizing strategies have been identified, the process must be implemented and managed.

    As noted in Chapter 2, Cameron, Freeman, and Mishra (1991) produced a four-year study of the American auto industry, conducting interviews with the chief executive officers (CEOs) and collecting over 2,000 questionnaires from white-collar employees regarding the implementation of the downsizing. From...

  10. CHAPTER 5 The Impact of Downsizing: Programs and Services
    (pp. 111-140)

    What was the impact of downsizing on academic libraries?A statistical picture illustrating the impact downsizing had on library budgets, collections, and staff complements was presented in Chapter 3. These objective data served as the background for Chapter 4, which described the processes and strategies that libraries used when they implemented downsizing. This chapter brings downsizing to the level of the individual and how he or she experienced the impact of downsizing on a day-to-day basis. To capture the reality of the library workplace, we relied on the responses of academic librarians to closed and open-ended questions on our survey....

  11. CHAPTER 6 The Impact of Downsizing: Factors at the Organizational and Individual Levels
    (pp. 141-160)

    What impact has downsizing had on academic libraries?The preceding chapter presented one set of answers to this question by exploring the effects of the changes that occurred to programs and services. Reductions and eliminations were widespread, although some new programs were added, particularly those using the new technologies. The consequences of these changes were substantial and keenly felt. Pervasive as they were, they were not the only aspects of academic libraries affected by downsizing. Downsizing is experienced at both the organizational level and the individual level. The organizational climate is affected by downsizing (Cameron, Freeman, Mishra, 1993). Downsizing probably...

  12. CHAPTER 7 The Legacy of Downsizing
    (pp. 161-182)

    What is the legacy of downsizing in academic libraries?Previous chapters explored various aspects of downsizing. As each topic was investigated, data were submitted and analysed, and implications drawn. For the most part, results related to the short-term and immediate impact of the downsizing efforts that took place. Although these were undoubtedly important, especially for those affected by them, they were not the only or perhaps even the most important results. The repercussions of downsizing in the 1990s were not confined to that decade: their longterm consequences are still with us and continue to shape academic libraries today.

    To understand...

  13. APPENDIX: List of Participating Libraries
    (pp. 183-184)
  14. References
    (pp. 185-196)
  15. Index
    (pp. 197-204)