Magazine article American Libraries

S.C. Schools May Lose Shared Databases

Magazine article American Libraries

S.C. Schools May Lose Shared Databases

Article excerpt

Following a 90% reduction of its funding from the state, an innovative consortium of academic libraries in South Carolina has made drastic cuts in the resources and services it provides, with the prospect of the loss of all of its database subscriptions later this year.

The Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) provides licensed databases and a rapid book-delivery service to more than 50 campuses statewide. State funding for the consortium was slashed from $2 million to $200,000 for FY2008-09. As a result, PASCAL cancelled its Lexis Nex- is service and cut back its book deliveries from five to three days weekly. On January 1, it dropped its subscriptions to over 800 online titles, including Nature and Science. Access to the remaining core collection of 7,000 titles will continue through the end of the current semester, but without additional funding the subscriptions will be terminated in July, leaving book delivery as PASCAL's sole service.

"We got cut up in a big meat cleaver last year," explained PASCAL Executive Director Rick Moul. In its budget-cutting, the legislature eliminated funding for many below-the-line (or nonrecurring) programs, including the prestigious Spoleto music festival. "We're lucky to have received any funding at all," Moul told American Libraries.

PASCAL has tried to plug the gap by assessing service fees to its member institutions for the first time this year. However, Moul said, in light of expected funding cuts to higher education--the governor's planned budget for next year includes a $32-million budget cut to campuses statewide--such fees are an unlikely long-term solution. …

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