chapter  Chapter 4
26 Pages

Collections

ByToby Burrows

The rate of growth of university library collections was reduced sharply in the 1980s. Three-quarters of the libraries surveyed by SCONUL bought fewer monographs and subscribed to fewer periodicals in 1984/85 than they had in 1979/80. The cuts fell harder on monographs; the most common reduction was between 19% and 27%, though several libraries reported a cut of over 40%. Periodical subscriptions were predominantly reduced by up to 13%, but quite a few libraries cut their number of subscriptions by more than this. Further reductions were made in 1985/86, with 32% of libraries cutting periodical subscriptions and 38% cutting monograph purchases. 1 Within this general picture, there were considerable individual variations and fluctuations from year to year, but the overall trend is very clear. University libraries, on the whole, have a substantially smaller number of periodical subscriptions than they used to, and buy markedly fewer monographs.