Library resources pressed by budget crunch, deficit

By Jen Bland

The recession strikes again. Students, faculty and staff are finding it increasingly hard to get the books they need from Founders Memorial Library.

Nestor Osorio, associate director for collection development, said the library has one-third the amount of money it had last year.

“The library has already spent most of the money because we didn’t expect the deficit would be this bad,” Osorio said. “Now we can buy hardly any books.”

Osorio said the budget crunch also has put more strain on the librarians.

“The less money we have, the more time the librarians have to spend deciding what are their highest priorities, and the less money we have to spend, the more difficult the choices are,” he said.

In the past, he said that vendors would come to the library selling books to faculty, so that they would not have to order books title by title. But the program was cut because of a lack of funding.

In turn, that is having a big effect on the inter-library loan program, which allows students to order books or magazines from around the world if the library does not have a copy.

“Last year there were 106,000 requests and this year there have been 13,000 more,” said Elizabeth Titus, associate director for information and access services.

Titus said this will have a big impact on the way students do their research, since it takes seven to 10 days to get the book or article requested.

“Students will have to give themselves more time to write their papers,” she said. “We encourage them not to wait until the last minute … do more planning.”

Osorio said in order to help the library decide what to order they’re asking the academic departments not to order as many books and to cut their magazine requests by 15 percent.

“We’re asking the academic departments for help because they know what’s best to order,” he said.