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Vernon R. Alden Library (FILE)

Alden Library’s budget reduced by $800,000 over past 3 years

Correction Appended. 

Ohio University has cut a total of 7% of the budget for Alden Library over the past three years, causing the library to reduce the number of resources it offers to students.

Since 2017, the university has reduced the library’s budget during a process that will continue through 2020, Chad Mitchell, chief of staff for the vice president of finance and administration office, said. 

“We strived to cut areas that would have the least detrimental impact on our services and collections which support faculty and students,” Kelly Broughton, assistant dean for research and education services, said in an email.

Broughton said that the 7% cut removes about $806,000 from the library’s operational budget. 

The library has had to make reductions to the types of collections that they purchase because of the budget cuts, which include online journal subscriptions, databases and books in print and online. 

Other reductions will likely be made in the future to account for inflation, Broughton said.

“I don’t like that they’re cutting the funding because I spend probably 25 hours in the library a week,” Danielle Morris, a junior accounting and pre-law major, said. “You don’t want to go in there and (hear), ‘oh well you can’t find this book because we stopped having that book.’ That’s my opinion on it.  They shouldn’t do it.”

So far the reductions have not directly impacted how the library operates, but it does make it more challenging, Broughton said.  Although in recent years the library began keeping the fourth floor open 24 hours during weekdays, there has not been an increase to cover the need for additional staffing. Having to prioritize staffing has become the main challenge with the new budget cuts, Broughton said.

The library’s budget is currently funded by allocations from the university, cash gifts and endowment distributions. The operating budget is covered by the funds allocated from the university, while special purchases and supplement services are covered the cash gifts and endowments, she said.

However, this problem is not only limited to the library.  Budget cuts have been made to a number of other university resources.  

Though decisions about future budget cuts are decided by the university administration, the library is looking for ways to control costs in order to continue to provide resources for students, Broughton said. 

“The libraries are committed to meeting the research, teaching and learning objectives of the Ohio community,” Broughton said in an email.  “With limited staffing and insufficient collections funding, we will not be able to do that.”

The library does receive support from the student community, which Broughton appreciates, she said.

Morris said she appreciates the library for the resources that it provides.

“I spend a lot of time in the library, and to know that they always have all the supplies that they need is like, perfect,” Morris said.

Alex Wood, a senior chemistry major and math minor, said he appreciates the library because it gives people a place to go at all times of the day. 

“It’s a nice way for people to come here and do work and get involved in literature and being able to have books for free,” Wood said. “I’d say mainly the work part though because a lot of students need a place to work and (the library) is a really good place for that group study and the sorts.”


Correction: A previous version of this report misattributed a quote from a source. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.

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