Future of UCRiverside Libraries
-Over the last 20 years student enrollment at UCR has more than doubled, growing from 8,400 in 1991 to 19,439 students enrolled in 2009.
-Library FTE levels have stagnated: as the student population increased 130%, the librarian population only increased 21%. This has resulted in a student/librarian ratio that has almost doubled, from 302 students per librarian in 1991 to 548:1 in 2009.
The temporary budget reduction in FY2009 was $1,260,000.
For FY2010 it is 1,179,000 with the FY 2010 reduction made permanent for FY 2011. The funding cuts made during the past fiscal year have already impacted several of the Libraries’ basic and strategic programs in the following ways: • The Libraries have been forced to reduce operating hours and the Palm Desert Branch has closed indefinitely. The Science Library is closed on Saturday, Rivera Library has shortened hours Sunday-Thursday, and the Music and Multimedia Libraries have closed on the weekends and reduced weekday evening hours.
• We have lost both librarians and library assistants, as retirements or resignations have occurred. We lost seven library assistant IV/V due to retirement; we do not know if we will be able to fill any of these positions.
• Last summer we lost one reference librarian, and will lose two this spring; we only expect to fill two of those librarian positions.
• Technical Services staffing has decreased by 26% in 4 years with few lost positions likely to ever be rehired. This major staffing deficit has required major reorganizations. The Acquisitions Department, Electronic Journals & Continuations Dept, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Processing and Government Documents processing merged into 1 new department with 41% fewer staff than these individual departments commanded. The Collection Development Department has also lost 36% of its staffing.
• The collections budget was reduced by $1M in 2008/09 and continued with this $1M reduction for 2009/10. The monographs budget went from $1.2M in 2007/08 to $420K in 2008/09 to $300K for 2009/10. Nearly 2200 journals and standing orders were cut for a “savings” of ~$800K. Several databases were also cut.
• The UCR Libraries slipped in national comparative rank from 93rd place, held in 2004-05, to 101st place out of 116 of the member libraries in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 2007-08. On the positive side, as a result of LAUC-R initiative, the UCR Libraries was represented on 3 subcommittees of the UCR 2020 Strategic Action Plan Commission. The current draft of its final document, UCR 2020: THE PATH TO PREEMINENCE (http://strategicplan.ucr.edu/documents/UCR_2020.pdf) includes the sentence: “The infrastructure for information services, including the UCR libraries, will be planned and supported in ways that will advance UCR’s national reputation and ranking and position the campus to achieve the profile of an AAU institution.” Whether UCR administration will act upon this statement, remains to be seen.