Reduction in Library Hours and Music Library Hours in Particular
I wanted to take a moment to discuss some current and upcoming reductions to hours both in the main library and in both the music library and the Huxley map library.
A few weeks ago, the Provost and President asked me to examine library hours to see if there were any cost savings and efficiencies to be found as we prepared for the current '10-'11 cut. I, along with members of the Libraries' leadership team, Rick Osen, Acting Assistant Dean for Collections and Technology, and Michael Lorenzen, Assistant Dean of Public Services, examined usage data, including circulation and gate count statistics, for all the Libraries. Based on this analysis, and looking at the times of lowest use, we came up with four scenarios for possible reductions:
1) Closing the main library on Saturdays
2) Closing the music library on nights and weekends (28 hours per week)
3) Reducing Huxley map library hours (7 hours per week)
4) Closing the main library additional days on eight holiday weekends, specifically Sunday and Monday of MLK weekend, President's weekend, Memorial Day weekend, and Veteran's Day.
A copy of the document that was generated as a result of that analysis is attached.
In the end, we decided the implement 2, 3 and 4. All resulted in significant cost savings and, while difficult decision to make, were the right thing to do considering our current economic situation. These hour reductions will be effective immediately. For now, the Libraries will continue to be open Saturday hours as the cost savings currently does not warrant a closure. In fact, we can save just as much if not more money by closing the eight holiday weekend days without significant disruption to University students, faculty and staff.
Concerning the music library hours reduction. I have attached a document which we prepared which outlines the data supporting the need to eliminate hours on nights and weekends. As you will clearly see, gate count and circulation statistics have dropped in recent years, and usage of the collections has also dropped. I have worked with members of the music faculty to come up with what I hope will be amenable solution regarding hours for the coming year:
M-TH: 8:45 - 5:45
F: 8 - 5
I do not take decision like this lightly, and know that members of the music faculty and staff will be impacted by this decision. Service will not be optimal, and I am sorry for that. But we are in a situation where tough decisions need to be made, and my goal in making them will be to to protect the core library services which are essential to student and faculty success.