In a development in ANU’s freeze on book acquisitions in libraries, it has come to light that there is hope for a new budget model to be implemented to enable ANU libraries to develop their connections next year.

In the last edition, Woroni revealed that ANU libraries had not purchased any books other than those set as required texts for courses in the last year. Woroni has recently learnt however that not only have over one hundred academics signed a petition calling for the end to the freeze on book purchases, but also that the issue had reached discussions in the most recent meeting of the Academic Board.

The freeze on book purchases is attributed largely to the falling exchange rate, the budget of ANU’s libraries being in Australian Dollars. Roxanne Missingham, University Librarian and Chief of Scholarly Information Services, said that at the recent meeting of the Academic Board she presented a report on library purchasing and the effect that the fall in the exchange had had on their ability to purchase more books. Missingham confirmed that a suggestion was made that a different budget model should be put in place to minimise the effect of the exchange rate, namely, changing the library purchasing budget into US Dollars, 66% of the library collection expenditure being in US dollars.

However, Vice-Chancellor Ian Young was cautious of the idea, noting that such a change in the library’s budget would undoubtedly require spending cuts elsewhere.

However Missingham was positive about the outlook for library purchasing for the next year, saying that there is enthusiasm from the higher levels and senior management support to implement a new budget model that will allow libraries to purchase books again.

‘There is active discussion with ANU senior management about alternative models that would moderate the variation of the exchange rate and support continuing collection development’ Missingham said.