Updated April 26, 2016: The GSA is pleased to announce that Carleton University’s 2016-2017 Operating Budget, as approved by the Board of Governors on April 26, 2016, includes a significant increase in the funding allocated to library acquisitions. This should guarantee maintained access to current levels of academic research, and possibility even facilitate the expansion of resources available to students.

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Amid concerns that the Library may be forced to make significant cuts to academic journal subscriptions, the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) is calling on Carleton University to maintain and expand upon current levels of access to academic research.

Through consultations with Wayne Jones, the University Librarian, the GSA has learned that future budget constraints could force the Library to make significant cuts to journal subscriptions in the 2016-17 academic year. These budget constraints are due to a number of factors, including the increasing costs of journal publishers, the declining value of the Canadian dollar, and insufficient increases to the Library’s collections budget.

According to Jones, “the Library is at the point now where unless the collections budget is shored up with significant base funding, we will have to decrease spending by at least $250,000 this coming year, and cancel licenses for materials which are more comprehensively used across faculties.” If these cuts take place, Carleton University will be following the example of Memorial University of Newfoundland, which this year cancelled more than 1,700 journal subscriptions, significantly limiting student access to necessary resources.

The GSA is deeply concerned about this possibility, which would seriously affect the ability of students and faculty at Carleton University to engage in quality research. Making deep cuts to popular and widely-used academic resources is worrying, but cancelling even less-accessed journals can be damaging for graduate students who specialize in unique fields and conduct cutting-edge research.

Access to academic journals simply cannot be considered optional for a post-secondary institution that wishes to support and showcase quality graduate-level research. It is of critical importance that Carleton University works to prevent these cuts from taking place.

The University is currently in the process of developing the budget, to be approved by the Board of Governors later this spring. We request that the University and the Library work together to develop a budget that ensures continued levels of access to academic journals and other library resources, and that graduate students and other affected parties are sufficiently consulted during this process.

For more information, contact:

Alannah James
Vice President Academic
Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)
Carleton University
Tel: (613) 520-2600 x 8005

Michael Bueckert
President
Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)
Carleton University
Cell: (613) 315-7947