Like other units at Miami and libraries at many other colleges and universities, the Miami University Libraries are contending with a difficult budgetary environment. At the time of writing, Miami has reduced its annual budget by $20 million and is currently planning additional reductions in excess of $40 million.
The Libraries continue to serve our students and faculty, although with significant reductions of staff (around 20%). Over the past year, we have looked for ways to realize efficiencies by combining service points and even eliminating and reducing some services. While some of these changes have been transparent to our clientele, others have been noticeable.
The most prominent adjustment has been eliminating overnight hours in King Library on Friday and Saturday; the Libraries now close at 10 p.m. Although these late weekend hours were the least heavily used hours, the Libraries have heard a significant outcry from individual students and from Miami’s Associated Student Government. Unfortunately, budget cuts have real consequences.
Although we have sustained relatively small cuts to books and journals to date, additional cuts appear likely for the Libraries and for our statewide consortium, OhioLINK, which provides us with access to many e-journals and research databases.
Thankfully, the MU Libraries do not do it alone. We are grateful to each of you who serve as advocates for library funding and as our donors. Your generosity has helped the Miami University Libraries to weather the budgetary storm and forestalled more dramatic reductions.
I look forward to continuing to work with you so that we can continue to provide Miami’s students and faculty with the library services and resources they deserve.
Again, thank you,
Judith A. Sessions
Dean and University Librarian