Amid cross-university cuts due to a deepening budget crisis, the Morgan Library will reduce its budget by $600,000 and eliminate two positions.
A library technician, who accepts donated books and library materials, and an administrative assistant who sorts and delivers mail, will no longer exist as of July 1.
“We are cutting the two positions, and we’re going to be backfilling those positions with students,” Interim Dean of the Library Patrick Burns said.
Other changes include a test trial of eBooks that students can access using their eID and password. Administrators’ hope is to reduce the amount of money spent on unused books and make research more convenient for students.
Burns said this move is in preparation for when publishers stop printing books altogether. Trials are set to start in the coming weeks.
Night hours during winter break will also be reduced as part of the budget cuts. But hours during finals week will still stay open later than normal as part of the library’s agreement with student government.
Alongside the budget decrease, the university is planning $16.4 million in renovations that will be paid in part with increase of university fees, Burns said.
“There is a proposal to have the university fee raised and have it paid by students,” he said. “It’s being done specifically for students to turn it into a better place for studying.”
The library will be sending unused books to a storage unit off of Lake Street, Burns said, to add more group study rooms and presentation studios as an answer to student feedback.
Burns said he wants to assure students that all renovations and budget decreases will be minimally invasive on services that the library offers and hope to increase services despite setbacks.
Staff writer Jordyn Dahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.