A few years ago the Education department informed me they had money remaining in their budget and were willing to use it for new subscriptions to journals their department uses, but it was difficult determining which journals because they were using a few articles from many different journals rather than a bunch of articles from a few journals. (That we didn't already subscribe to.)

When I need to increase my budget to add new journals, I usually cite CONTU guidelines when lobbying my administrators, explaining we are using a certain journal(s) more often than relying on ILL allows. The fact that they aren't familiar with CONTU (or CCC reimbursement options) perhaps works to my advantage as I've always received the increase. If a journal is extremely specific to a particular project and not really within my (small, specialized) library's scope I normally don't add it; for example, off the top of my head I remember our research department was often using (at a given point in time, not continuously) the journal Menopause for our Putting Evidence Into Practice (PEP): Hot Flashes

Mentioning PEP reminds me, forgive the shameless plug but our new Putting Evidence Into Practice: A Pocket Guide to Cancer Symptom Management ( was published this week and my assistance is acknowledged in it.

Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS
Information Resources Supervisor
Oncology Nursing Society
125 Enterprise Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1214
412-859-6289 (phone)

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Linda Schwartz
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 7:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: CHAT: "special" journal requests

The problem is exactly as you describe it. If you do decide to discuss with your VP of Medical Affairs, I'd stress that new programs require new support systems. I find that with new projects (such as new community-focused/patient engagement focused programs) / services (such as your new research lab)/ teaching venues (such as fellowships, residencies) / patient initiatives (such as a new focus on a specific disorder to target reduction in readmissions), there is no discussion at the planning stage for support. I had one patient ed program that expected me to fund $6,000/year in brochures for just one disease-specific initiative. I've had fellowships that started with subsequent requests, like yours, for thousands of dollars of journals to support teaching.

I know that I need to outreach when I hear the slightest whisper of a new activity to remind people upfront that new resources require budgeting at the proper time. Like you, I also use statistics to show that some resources may not be necessary and tell people - show me that you are requesting articles from it through ILL first and I can make a better case at budget time that we need to subscribe. The problem comes when you don't have a clue of the new activity - it just arrives in the form of an email request.

Feeling your pain!


Linda Matula Schwartz, MDE, AHIP, CM
Director, Knowledge Management
(Library Services and Patient Education) Lehigh Valley Health Network
1200 S. Cedar Crest Blvd.
Allentown, PA 18105

Libraries are about service - not books. Information where & when you want it with librarians as professional guides.

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Julie Stielstra
Sent: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 13:56
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [MEDLIB-L] CHAT: "special" journal requests

We're in the process of reviewing our journal subscriptions for renewal.
In the last two weeks, I've fielded requests from several departments to add some new titles that we don't already have.  One costs $4500 a year, another costs $3000, and another one came in at $1700.  All are very specialized journals that are unlikely to be used by anyone outside that department.  With almost all our current holdings coming in bundles, there's no way to cut low-use titles to fund these requests.  I got a stern lecture from one person who said it seemed like we ought to be supporting his new research lab's work (and of course, I would like to!), and that we
should just "find" the money somewhere.   How do you resolve this kind of
stalemate?  I DO want the libraries to be the main go-to source for journals, and I DO want to support our service lines.  I study usage stats, do my best to tweak and fit and serve the greatest number of people I can, but at some point my budget is done and I can't just suddenly "find" $7000 to please two new researchers.  And the publishers make it torturous to tailor your holdings because they package everything with "no substitutions."  I am very lucky to have a generous budget, and going to ask for more would raise eyebrows I don't want raised.

Suggestions?  Approaches?  I'm thinking of having an informal chat with our VP of Medical Affairs, and see what he might offer... like having the medical staff resume an annual donation of funds to the collection budget or something...  Anyway, would like to hear how you all handle / explain these awkward situations.

Julie Stielstra, MLS
Manager, Libraries of Cadence Health
Central DuPage Hospital
25 N Winfield Rd
Winfield, IL 60190
phone 630-933-4536
fax     630-933-4530
email jstielstra [ at ]

" mean in anything; never be false; never be cruel. Avoid those three vices...and I can always be hopeful of you."  -- Betsy Trotwood to David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)


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