Under the direction of the Content Strategy Committee, CRKN has contacted vendors with whom we are currently in multi-year contracts to request financial relief for 2021 in response to the anticipated effects of COVID-19 on library budgets. The letter below urges publishers to consider financial relief measures to help CRKN members maintain subscriptions to fundamental resources.
As you most certainly are aware, Canadian university libraries are facing unprecedented uncertainty and challenges with respect to their collection budgets due to three main factors:
- Projected declines in enrollment
- The weakening and volatile Canadian dollar
- Significant reductions in provincial funding
The effect of COVID-19 on collection budgets across the country has only amplified the difficult circumstances facing many of our members who were already subject to provincial government budget cuts of up to 12% even before the COVID-19 crisis.
We have heard from our members during teleconferences held in April and May that the current path of annual increases is unsustainable. Our members reported that they are expecting significant budget cuts with prolonged effects and a recovery period that will likely take many years. These budget cuts are further intensified by the exchange rate which often amplifies a single digit percentage increase into a double-digit increase.
Many multi-year licenses have the option for participants to opt-out of participation in the event of financial difficulties. Under current circumstances we anticipate that many libraries will be forced to seriously explore those options. In an effort to retain as many participants as possible on this/your license, we are reaching out to ask if you are offering any concessions with regards to pricing for 2021. We would like to convey this information as soon as possible to our members so that they may make informed choices with respect to any difficult decisions about their participation in the license.
Finally, in alignment with the international community, CRKN signed the ICOLC Statement on the Global COVID-19 Pandemic and Its Impact on Library Services and Resources in March 2020 which outlines steps publishers can take to assist libraries. We invite you to read this statement and we encourage you to consider measures for financial relief for the 2021 fiscal year for participants of our license agreement.
Any changes to 2021 pricing will be shared on the “Additional Member Only Information” section of this page. The section below will be updated as information becomes available in order to assist members in their decision-making processes with respect to potential cancellations.