Last semester’s universitywide budget cuts are now affecting the Library. However, unlike individual programs and colleges, the Library is a facility used by students of all majors and the university should do what it can to ensure the Library and its quality resources are not negatively affected by the cuts.
Already the Library has announced it will cut 11 hours of operation per week. Though the hours cut are later at night, for many students this may cause problems. Many students work and commute at USF, using their evenings to do research and to study at the Library.
The Library is also suffering a slightly larger cut of 9 percent in comparison to the 5 percent cut most of USF’s other departments were given. The Library should have been given a lesser cut because of the magnitude of its importance. Strong Library staff and hours are key to a student’s success, especially at a Research I university.
Another program lost to budget cuts was the Florida distance learning Reference and Referral Center room that provided research assistance to students at USF and other universities. Though the Library has responded by increasing its tech sources, this will only serve to further burden those who may be affected by student Other Personnel Service hour cuts and the absence of funds to hire new student personnel.
Now with less money to hire staff and cuts to other programs offered by the Library, all USF students may suffer. The university has a responsibility to maintain and offer the best resources it can to students. While budget cuts are unavoidable, effort should have been made to lessen them in the interests of the university as a whole.