transforming libraries

The latest issue of Library Journal featured an article about Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s proposal to eliminate the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. This would involve transferring most Library of Michigan functions to the Department of Education, abolishing the position of State Librarian, and downgrading library services, such as circulation and interlibrary loan – all in the hopes of saving a few million dollars.

Currently, I work at an academic library and budget concerns have been the main topic of conversation and meeting agendas for nearly a year. Last month, we began planning a major restructuring of the university libraries in response to our provost’s charge to create innovative resources and services that will transform and position the library as the center of the university. So far, we’ve brainstormed some interesting ideas that we hope to begin implementing in the near future.

I’m curious to hear about the challenges and opportunities facing other librarians with regard to budgets. How are the libraries you are associated with dealing with the pressure to justify operating costs and emphasize the importance of library resources and services in a climate that, at times, seems eager to view libraries as an unnecessary luxury?

One comment:

  1. I work in a public library. Statistics show that in difficult economic times public library usage goes way up and this has encouraged our city government to be financially supportive. We in fact are taking fewer cuts than many other city departments because the city recognizes that the public needs our services more than ever. To some degree the argument that difficult economic times increase the need for libraries does apply to state libraries since they often support libraries throughout their state with ILL and other funding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *