Staffing and Service Cuts at Study Center in Brown University’s Sciences Library
Library staff and students are voicing concerns about a plan to reduce staffing and services at the Friedman Study Center in the Sciences Library. University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi announced the planned changes April 15 in an email to all undergraduates.
There will also be changes to the hours when the Friedman Study Center’s front desk is staffed. Monday through Thursday the desk will be staffed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., while Friday’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday’s hours will be 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday’s desk hours will be from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Hemmasi wrote. In comparison, the desk is currently staffed starting from 8:30 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends, closing at 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
This constitutes a reduction from 110 hours of librarian service per week to 70 hours, said Karen McAninch, the library workers’ union’s business agent.
“Any current Friedman Study Center staff member who sees a change to his or her role, schedule or assignment will continue to have a job of equal grade and salary elsewhere in the Brown University Library system,” Hemmasi wrote in an email to The Herald.
But “some of us have been working together for over 10 years, and now we are going to be dispersed and broken up,” said Senior Library Specialist James Schlageter. “We’ve been through renovations, the changing of operations, taken on new things and been successful with it all, and it is all being thrown away.”
Since the opening of the Friedman Study Center, there has been a 48 percent reduction in circulation of “SciLi materials,” a 39 percent decrease in the circulation of “reserve books, DVDs and other reserve materials” and a 43 percent decrease in the circulation of popular movies, Hemmasi wrote in an email to The Herald.
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.