Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fighting Budget Problems

It seems like ever day we are bombarded by more news about libraries struggling in these tough economic times. Libraries have slashed their budgets, are ordering less books, cutting hours, are laying off people, enforcing unpaid furloughs, even closing completely. What we haven't heard much about, though, is the patrons' reactions to these changes. At the University of California, Berkeley, where they are facing one of the worst budget crisis yet, students are voicing their concerns about the library's troubled budget. Berkeley has over 20 small subject libraries on their campus, and in order to save money, all but two of the libraries are closing on Saturdays. This past weekend, nearly 300 students, faculty, and library staff staged a library "sit-in" on Saturday night to protest the libraries being closed. Students camped out, bring pillows, blankets, and food, as well as study materials and spent the night in the library. So far there hasn't be a response from the Berkeley administration, other than to say that they understand the students' frustrations.

More details about the sit-in can be found here.

What do you think about this? Are the students right to protest something like this? Or should they wait until the libraries are closed more than one day out of the week? Was this a good way for students to demonstrate their frustration? I want to hear what you think!

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