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									Public Sector Spending Cuts in Ireland

John Cox
University Librarian, James Hardiman Library
SCONUL Autumn Conference, 2 December 2010

                                               James Hardiman Library

• Irish financial context
• Impact of cuts on academic libraries
• Responses: challenges and opportunities
• Lessons learned

                                            James Hardiman Library
Irish Financial Context

• 1996-2007: unprecedented years of plenty
   – High public spending
   – Strong job creation
   – Varied impact of spending
• 2008-?: sudden, steep and prolonged downturn
   – Spending cuts
   – International dependency
   – Job losses
   – Higher taxation
                                                 James Hardiman Library
Employment Control Framework, April 2009-

• No filling of posts unless of strategic importance and by appeal
• No contract extensions
• No promotions
• No acting allowances
• Augmented by incentivised schemes to reduce headcount:
   – Early retirement
   – 3-year career break
   – Reduced working year

                                                     James Hardiman Library

• Pension levy has decreased public sector salaries by c8%
• New income levy by salary band
• Actual pay cuts of 5-10% in early 2010
• Lots more pain to come in 7 December budget
• ...despite Croke Park Agreement...

                                                    James Hardiman Library
Croke Park Agreement

• Guarantees to public sector:
   – No compulsory job losses
   – No salary cuts for existing employees
• Agreed in return:
   – Changes to working week
   – Reduced overtime, concessions
   – Flexible work practices and deployments
   – Longer service hours
   – Tighter performance management
                                               James Hardiman Library
Some General Implications

• Lower worker morale
• Uncertainty
• Increased individual workloads
• Major managerial challenges

                                   James Hardiman Library
Local Impact: NUI Galway Library

• Staffing:
   – Vacancies = headcount reduction opportunities
   – 12.1% lost since end 2008 (10.02 FTE)
   – 8% reduction in 2009 alone (6.71 FTE)
   – All grades impacted, from deputy to shelver
   – Contract posts for research support a major battleground
   – Strong focus on deployment/redeployment/process
   – Student numbers up by c10% in past two years

                                                     James Hardiman Library
Local Impact: NUI Galway Library

• Information resources budget:
   – October 2008: -7%
   – September 2009: -8%
   – September 2010: - 2.5% (so far)
   – Discretionary funds hit hardest
   – Major national dimension
       • IReL (Irish Research eLibrary)
       • Cut by 12% (only!) in 2010
   – General uncertainty
                                          James Hardiman Library
Local Impact: NUI Galway Library

• Operations budget:
   – October 2008: -7%
   – September 2009: -8%
   – September 2010: -2.5% (so far)
• Research Building delayed by contractor receivership
• IT investment limited
• Tighter university-wide scrutiny
• Shared services expectation

                                                    James Hardiman Library
Recession Mantras

• Sack the Government
• What next?
• It could be worse - we still have a job
• Stick at it
• Do more with less
• Let’s join up - too many silos
• Shared services are the panacea
• Value for money
• Don’t waste a crisis
                                            James Hardiman Library
Some Responses

• Positive and optimistic leadership
• Clearer prioritisation and planning
• Staff restructuring and redeployment
• Partnership locally and externally
• New areas of emphasis
• Doing less with less

                                         James Hardiman Library
Positive and Optimistic Leadership

• Difficult but vital!
• Management/engagement by walking about
• Sharing the pain
• Emphasis on current successes and future developments
• Communications: Service Promotion Librarian role
• Clarity of planning

                                                     James Hardiman Library
Clearer planning and prioritisation

• Multiple planning exercises in 2010:
   – Annual
   – Operational x 2
• Nevertheless, greater focus and synergy
• Shorter horizons
• Stronger focus on targets, measurement
• Communication of plan and achievements

                                            James Hardiman Library
2010 Library Plan
Operational Plan 2010/11

                           James Hardiman Library
Staff Restructuring and Redeployment

• More a necessity than an option due to staff losses
• Greater acceptance of change, eg Croke Park Agreement
• Genuine opportunity to organise differently
• Informed by clearer planning and strategic objectives
• Aims:
   – Logical functional groupings for service delivery
   – Maximum service performance and uptake
   – Spreading of expertise
   – Greater IT embedding, self-sufficiency
                                                        James Hardiman Library
                  Previous Structure


    Head of          Head of                     Head of                 Head of
Library Systems   Reader Services          Information Services   Bibliographic Services
                       New Structure


    Head of
                     Head of Staff           Head of Customer    Head of Information
                   Development and              Focus and           Access and
Development and
                  Service Environment        Research Services    Learning Services
          Head of Organisational
       Development and Performance
                   Librarian       Library
Library Plan
                                  and Roles
                    Head of
                 Development &

Performance                         Library
Measurement                       Technology
    Head of Staff Development and Service

               Staff                              Head of Staff                        Space
                                                Development and
               Skills                          Service Environment                    Planning

                                 Assistant Librarian             Medical Librarian

                                                                         Library Assistants

                    Shelving                                Systems
Head Steward                         Library Assistants
                   Supervisors                              Assistant

Steward Team      Shelving Team
    Head of Customer Focus and Research

        Customer                  Head of Customer

       Experience                    Focus and                       Marketing
                                  Research Services

  Team Leader,      Research      Archivists/Special      Digitisation &   Service Promotion
Customer Services    Support     Collections Librarians    Repository          Librarian
                    Librarians                              Librarian

Customer Services                 Archives/Special
     Team                        Collections Assistant
Head of Information Access and Learning

      User                      Head of Information                  Development,
                                   Access and
    Interface                    Learning Services
                                                                       and Use

 Information    Electronic Resources                                 Collection Management
                                              Systems Technologist
  Librarians          Librarian                                      & Cataloguing Librarians

 Information                                                               Team Leader

                                                                      Collection Management,
                                                                     Cataloguing, ILL Assistants
The Story So Far

• New structure commenced 1 September 2009
• Gains:
   – Knowledge distribution
   – New synergies, fewer silos
   – Focus on realistic strategic priorities and values
• Pains:
   – Major change management effort
   – Heavy individual workloads
   – Continuing staff losses

                                                          James Hardiman Library
Partnerships/Shared Services

• Locally
   – Integrated Support Services Strategic Plan
• Regionally
   – NUI Galway-University of Limerick Strategic Alliance
• Nationally
   – Irish Research eLibrary

                                                  James Hardiman Library
 NUIG Integrated Support Services Strategic Plan
• Maximum service support for academic mission
   – High performance standards
   – Focus on customer satisfaction
   – Value for money
   – Flexibility and continuous improvement
   – Simplification of processes
   – Non-duplication across campus
   – Maximum staff skills development and deployment
   – Integrated service planning on annual basis
                                                   James Hardiman Library
School Institute Name to go here
NUI Galway-University of Limerick Alliance

• Part of a national trend
• Proactive collaboration initiative
• Sharing of resources for research, teaching, technology
  transfer, procurement, services
• Initial library priorities:
    – Reciprocal access
    – Staff development
    – Shared training materials

                                                     James Hardiman Library
  IReL: the National Dimension

• Established in 2004
• Government-funded
• Focused on research community
• Accessible at 7 Irish universities
• c. 110 “products”
• 28000+ e-journals
• 40000+ e-books
• Images, reference data, primary docs

IReL: Shared Service Survival

• Major funding threat, late 2009/early 2010
• 33% funding cut envisaged
• Reduced to 12% due to:
   – Researcher protest
   – Brinkmanship with publishers
   – Quality of usage/survey data
   – Top-slicing of university budgets
• IReL now actually more strongly established
• Seen (belatedly!) as a shared services exemplar
                                                    James Hardiman Library
New Areas of Emphasis

• Marketing
• Process cost and simplification
• Performance measurement and benchmarking
• Diversification of funding base

                                             James Hardiman Library
Marketing Calendar 2010

                          James Hardiman Library
Process Analysis

                   James Hardiman Library
Performance Measurement and Benchmarking

• Annual user surveys, 2003-
• LibQual
• Sconul statistics
• IReL usage and impact

                                  James Hardiman Library
                      Impact Surveys: Output Focus
                     The provision of access to electronic resources via IReL has impacted on my research as
                                                                    follows (please select all that apply):
                 The provision of access to electronic resources via IReL has impacted on my research as follows (please select all that apply):

                                                                                                                             4,820 Ease of access to research information
Ease of access to research                                                                                          88.2 %
                                                                                                                             4,479 Access to wider range of literature
              Ease of access to research information                                                                         4,448 Speed of access to research information
information 88.2%                                                                                                            3,780 Better current awareness of research literature
                                                                                                                             3,520 Improved research quality
                                                                                                                             3,185 Increased research productivity
                 range of
Access to wider Access to wider range of literature                                                          82.0 %
                                                                                                                             2,148 New areas of research now possible
                                                                                                                               133 Other
research literature 82%

                   to research
Speed of access of access to research information
             Speed                                                                                           81.4 %
information 81.4%

          Better awareness 69.2%
Better currentcurrent awareness of research literature                                             69.2 %

                   Improved 64.4%
Improved research qualityresearch quality                                                    64.4 %

Increased research productivity
                 Increased research productivity                                         58.3 %

New areas of research research now possible
               New areas of                                                    39.3 %
possible 39.3%

                                                 Other       2.4 %

                                                         0     1,000   2,000     3,000     4,000            5,000

                                                         IReL Impact Survey, March-April 2009
Diversification of Funding Base

• Registrar’s Office
• Galway University Foundation
• Quality Office
• Joint bids with academics, internally and externally

                                                     James Hardiman Library
Doing Less with Less

• Reduced activity, eg recruitment, purchasing, committees
• IT configuration/development
• Doing differently, eg elimination of paper processes
• Consolidation of subject librarian/research librarian portfolios
• Discontinuations, eg Desk Reserve

                                                       James Hardiman Library
 In Conclusion: Some Lessons Learned

• Don’t waste a crisis
• Retain positive vision
• Cultivate partnerships, especially academic
• Question every service
• Have the numbers ready
• Be passionate about the library’s contribution

                                                   James Hardiman Library

• Cox, J. Sharing the pain, striving for gain. Serials, 23(1),
  March 2010, pp.12-15.

• Cox, J. Academic libraries in challenging times. An
  Leabharlann: the Irish Library, 19(2), 2010, pp 7-13.

             Both at

                                                    School Institute Name to go here

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