Library budget

The University Libraries’ primary goal is to advance the educational, research, clinical, and outreach missions of the University. We aim to provide our students, instructors, and researchers with seamless access to the content and services they need.


The University Libraries’ total budget encompasses the salaries/benefits, operations, technologies, and access to information resources for the Main Library, Weaver Science-Engineering Library, Fine Arts Library, Health Sciences Library, and Special Collections. The Law Library operates separately and reports to the Dean of the James E. Rogers College of Law.


FY19 University Libraries Revenues
FY19 University Libraries revenue sources

The majority of our funding comes from Responsibility Centered Management (RCM). Since 2006, we have also received a portion of the Information Technology/Library Fee


FY19 University Libraries Expenditures
FY19 University Libraries expenditures

As part of the University Libraries total budget, we manage the $14.9 million Information Access Budget (IAB) on behalf of campus. This budget is used to secure campus-wide access to information resources such as databases, journals, books/ebooks, streaming video, interlibrary loan services, and our library search tool.

Maximizing information resource dollars

To be responsible stewards of campus resources, we employ every strategy available to sustain access, contain costs, and enhance buying power. As a result, we secure $3 worth of content for each $1 spent from the Information Access Budget.

We achieve this by engaging in intensive negotiations with vendors, consortial buying, and signing multi-year licenses. We actively manage our ongoing subscriptions, adding or removing databases or titles to meet changing needs and maximize value.

We also support open access, and actively explore new open access models that can remove financial barriers and ensure free global access to scholarship. Read about the UA Open Access Policy.

Maintaining access to high-quality information resources

These decisions are informed by:

  • curricular and research priorities of campus faculty and academic units
  • data on usage and cost per use
  • users’ preferences and needs
  • our guiding principles
  • our strategic map and the UA strategic plan
  • opportunities to return the best value to campus 

Comparing peer spending

While apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult due to differences across peer institutions (size, land grant mission, with or without a medical school, etc.), the University of Arizona’s budget for information resources is significantly lower than the midpoint for our 15 peer institutions identified by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). On an average annual basis, we spend $2.5 million dollars less on information resources and $6 million dollars less on staffing than our ABOR peers.

Reducing information resources to address annual inflation increases 

In an environment of constrained budgets and ongoing annual inflationary increases, we employ an active management strategy to maintain access to high-quality information resources. Annual spending reductions will be necessary to address annual inflation increases in the cost of existing subscriptions and to make room for any new strategic subscriptions.

Visit our spending reductions page to learn why these cuts are necessary and the criteria for decision-making.