By Wyatt Gorman | February 19, 2021
The University Libraries has reduced its hours, database subscriptions and equipment purchases as part of a university-wide effort to close a $59 million budget gap.
“The University Libraries are subject to the same roughly 15% budget reduction as other units across campus,” said UAlbany Director of Media & Community Relations Jordan Carleo-Evangelist.
The budget reduction has reduced evening and weekend hours for students wanting to visit the libraries and has eliminated most student assistant positions for the time being.
The University Libraries have also forgone equipment purchases and reduced the number of journal and database subscriptions as well as monograph acquisitions due to the budget decrease. The university can no longer afford the services.
The libraries also eliminated their travel budget, which Carleo-Evangelist said was of “minimal impact” this year because of the pandemic and in line with a general university-wide freeze on non-essential spending.
The libraries approached the hard decisions in a similar and “thoughtful” way as other units across campus, he added. Carleo-Evangelist said the libraries aimed “to preserve as much as possible the core functions and value that the libraries provide at a research institution while also acknowledging the very real budget pressure the university is facing.”
The University Libraries will continue to adapt to challenges posed by the pandemic and the budget. Single-occupancy study rooms have been made available for those looking for a quiet spot to do work. Curbside material pickup is available for textbooks and reference books. The new schedule on the University Libraries’s website and a librarian or library staff member can be contacted through the University Library website.
“The library has been working very hard to help students during this time,” said Sue Kaczor, a university librarian.