With the start of this academic year, the Library is facing significant budget reductions. The total budget reduction for FY15 and FY16 is $1,050,853 or about 16% reduction in general funds since FY14.
While there were no layoffs at the Consortium Library, regular positions were eliminated. Three tenure track faculty positions, a web librarian, a reference librarian, and a medical librarian, and one staff position, were vacated because of three retirements and a resignation. One librarian and one staff member volunteered to reduce their schedule to 75% and another librarian took 20 LWOP days over the summer months. The dean’s 7-day furlough also adds to the Library’s reduction in personnel expenditures. In addition to the personnel expenditures, the Library’s acquisitions budget has been reduced by $300,000. To date 25 research databases and other electronic resources and hundreds of print and electronic journals have been identified for cancellation. We will also spend less for new books, travel, and professional development.
While the budget situation is certainly very challenging, it has not stopped the Library from responding to the needs of the university communities by moving ahead in certain areas. In response to student demand, five new group study rooms are being constructed on the second floor and should be available by October. Planning also continues for the new North Entrance. This project includes creating six handicap parking spots, a card swipe reader for the after hours study facility, a camera and book security system, a circulation desk, landscaping and an arctic entryway with an outside canopy. If everything goes as expected, the Library’s second entrance will open in June 2016.