Libraries identify areas for reallocation of funds

By Brian Slupski

University Libraries went before the Academic Resource Advisory Committee Thursday and identified funds for reallocation in various areas of the department.

University Libraries Director Peggy Sullivan said the primary areas which could be considered for reallocation are student worker funds and contractual and equipment line items.

The students are not under a contractual agreement, therefore the funds are uncommitted dollars which could be considered for reallocation, she said.

In a written report to ARAC Sullivan said, “These are easy targets for short-term reallocation or recisions, but they also suggest that we may wish to consider shifting to commitments of full-time staff rather than relying as heavily as we do on students.”

However, the report noted “this would be one more hit on beleaguered students when other costs are rising.”

Sullivan said the library is the second-largest employer of students at NIU.

Salary expenditures for the library now total $3,160,408.

Sullivan said there are other areas which could be considered for reallocation, but student worker funds and contractual and equipment line items are the only two significant chunks of flexible dollars.

An example of a smaller area for reallocation is the library’s policy to deliver film and video tapes to faculty. Sullivan said it benefits few people and costs the department around $5,000.

Other library expenses include the maintenance of the Music Library and the mathematical sciences reading room.

The report points out that the decisions to maintain these facilities were made in the past and the decisions might be made differently today.

However, the report also states “it probably is not feasible to attempt to undo them.”

“It is important for the university community to recognize the library’s strengths as well as its needs,” Sullivan said.