The Fine Print: U approves $5 library fee

By Clayton Norlen

A $5 increase will be added to student fees to help the Marriott Library pay its subscription rates for academic journals.

Joyce Ogburn, director of the Marriott Library, said the subscription rates for journals go up about 8 percent a year, and for the past six years the library has had to cut subscriptions that aren’t “core titles” because of rising costs.

“We’ve reached a critical stage where we just don’t have the budget to cover subscriptions,” Ogburn said. “Students are our top priority, and we want them to have access to credible and reliable information, and that is these journals.”

The increase will allow the library to support academic and professional research and keep the library in tow with classroom curriculum, Ogburn said.

Paul Brinkman, associate vice president for budget and planning, said the library hasn’t received regular funding from the Utah State Legislature for journals, and because of rising costs the U has fallen behind with subscriptions. Administrators chose to include the increase in student fees, Brinkman said, as a way to make this issue of funding more visible to everyone.

“This has been and issue…since I began here 18 years ago, and we just decided to bite the bullet this year,” Brinkman said.

According to surveys the library conducted, Ogburn said an average of 2 million articles are viewed online every year and that number keeps rising.

“We want to make sure to protect and provide these types of information,” Ogburn said. “These types of work aren’t available through Google or even Google Scholar unless users have a subscription to the journals.”

The fees collected will be divided among the three libraries on campus, including the Eccles Health Sciences Library and the S. J. Quinney Law Library, but a formula hasn’t been decided as to how it will be divided among them, Ogburn said. With the funding, Ogburn said the libraries will be able to buy more electronic texts and try to provide as many full-text citations as possible with the extra funding.

“I use the (electronic journals), so I’m glad we have them,” said John Sheehan, a junior in biology. “Without them it would be more of a hassle to do work, so if they need the $5 for those services, then I’m OK with it.”

Shundiin Jakub, a senior in political science, said she doesn’t use the journals much but isn’t worried about the fee.

“It’s a whatever,” Jakub said. “Fees increase all the time — it’s one more.”

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