Budget cuts impact the Learning Resource Center


The third floor of the Learning Resource Center currently hosts the circulating collection, study areas and a training room. Photo credit: Paola Garcia

Paola Garcia

The Learning Resource Center, known as the LRC, has been forced to reduce certain services that had been useful for students in the past due to administrative budget cuts.

Deletion of LRC tours, outsourced 24/7 chat, lack of web development and shortage of research instruction workshops are a few of the struggles the LRC is currently undergoing after their adjunct budget got reduced once again at the beginning of the school year.

“Two thirds of the adjunct budget has been cut since 2007,” said Librarian Barbara Ring. “The last cut being of around 33 percent of the remaining budget.”

With a 30 minute duration, the “drop-in” tours used to be a tool to introduce students to the installations, services and spaces the LRC has to offer. These tours used to be offered at scheduled times throughout the first two weeks of school. Unless a professor requests and schedules their class to come in, this service is now gone for the time being.

Research instruction workshops have to be scheduled upon the instructor’s request for the months of September and October only. These workshops are used to help students acquire skills needed in order to identify good academic sources and prepare them for their semester coursework overall.

The campus has reduced the part-time adjunct budget leaving only four full-time librarians and an insufficient part-time staff.

“There isn’t enough staff to satisfy the work load. Time is our biggest issue, we could be so busy our presence in the committee will lessen, and our lack of voice could result in even less funding,” added Sandra Pesce, librarian.

The UC and CSU transferable course Library Science 101 could also be subjected to reduction in the future. Being offered only once a year instead of once a semester, as it is currently.

“The budget cuts stop us from reaching our full potential; therefore, the students’ at the same time. Increasing student success is our priority,” Librarian Carol Withers explained.

The lack of funding has resulted in the remaining staff’s focus towards urgent and primary services, leaving unattended certain duties such as, web management, collections development and reference help via Internet; which could potentially impact student outcomes in the long run.

“Just because the doors are open and the lights are on doesn’t mean we have a library,” Withers stated.