University of North Texas Libraries Face Budget Crunch
From the Denton Record-Chronicle:
The University of North Texas Libraries have been notified that they must absorb an additional $1.7 million in costs annually to pay benefits for library employees, a move that set off a flood of social media complaints and a new “Save the UNT Library” blog.
The viral online response came after Dean of Libraries Martin Halbert spoke to the Faculty Senate on Wednesday and held an open meeting about the cuts on Thursday morning.
Halbert sent an e-mail to all library employees Thursday afternoon saying the $1.7 million in costs would kick in immediately and were retroactive to Sept. 1. He said the costs would likely be deducted from materials purchases.
But Provost Warren Burggren told the Denton Record-Chronicle on Friday that no decision had been made about when the libraries would assume the costs of the employee benefits, and said discussions between the library and budgeting office have not begun. He sent an e-mail Thursday afternoon to the university community.
Halbert released a statement on Save the UNT Library’s website, saying all discussion is premature and that the provost had just returned from a trip abroad. Halbert will be out of the country until Nov. 30 for a conference.
Save the UNT Library’s Facebook page posted that Halbert said the libraries would absorb the shortfall through cutbacks to materials and purchases and by delaying future hires. All material budget spending was stopped Nov. 14.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.