by Andrew Shurtleff
will be painful, in particular to collections. We'll need
to remain flexible and be clear about our priorities.
Opportunity key to librarys
A member of the University
Library staff recently made a $5,000 anonymous gift to the library.
It was followed by several smaller gifts also from staff
summarizing the state of the University
Library, Karin Wittenborg draws from the old comic strip Pogo.
are confronted with insurmountable opportunity, says Wittenborg.
everything from the state of the world to the amount of library
funding has changed in recent months, the library's traditions
of customer service and innovation, and its mission of building
and providing access to information resources, are unchanged.
during the past year include:
establishing a digital library production service;
securing $1million from the Mellon Foundation for infrastructure
for the Library of Tomorrow;
working with the English, art and architecture departments to
incorporate technology in teaching;
increasing annual giving to $276,000;
distributing 6.4 million e-books;
providing information to other university libraries about LEO,
the on-grounds delivery service.
budget cuts have already taken $800,000 and threaten another $1.1
million in library funding. Wittenborg said her guiding principles
during the budget crisis are to serve customers, use data such
as usage reports, surveys and information from faculty and student
advisory committees to make budget choices, protect people and
getting good at living with ambiguity, she said.
frequently ask about library construction projects such
as the Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History,
Literature, and Culture and the Albert and Shirley Small Special
Collections Library and how they relate to operations.
The projects continue because funding is specifically allocated
or restricted for them.
the job security of her staff is a top priority. Freezing the
26 current vacancies provides some leeway, and sharing staff among
the library systems 14 libraries in critical areas helps
maintain core services.
will be painful, Wittenborg said. A particular worry
is the cuts to collections. We'll need to remain flexible and
be clear about our priorities.
bright side to the crisis is that it has affirmed the importance
of the library to the University community and provided opportunities
for staff growth and team efforts. In addition, hard times may
important area she is addressing is improving diversity among
library staff by developing strategies for when the current hiring
freeze is lifted.
library is helped by strong support from students, administration
and faculty. It is well positioned for fund-raising and has an
a dynamic organization that can adapt and change, she said.