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Description

While much has changed since the last Five-Year Review of the Libraries of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, many issues and trends have remained the same. The recent pandemic crisis has required the Libraries and its staff to shift many of its activities to an online and remote model, something that was already incrementally occurring. The continuing and precipitous decline in overall budget and staff size is no longer "unprecedented" as stated in the previous review but has become the status quo. Since the last review in 2015, the Thomas Jefferson Library has seen a greater decline in staff numbers. Since 2015, the library has lost 14 librarians and staff to have them replaced by 4 new hires and 3 internal promotions. The librarians and staff internally promoted were not replaced but rather took on additional duties. The current number of librarians and staff in the Thomas Jefferson Library is 19. By the end of 2020, the staff size will be 17 due to upcoming retirements. The administration remains concerned about maintaining our level of service as we continue to lose and not replace librarians and staff. The Libraries continue to persevere despite significant annual budget cuts and the ongoing inflationary pressures on the order of 10 percent annually, or more, for acquiring new, and maintaining existing, resources. In 2016, the Libraries' budget was $4,811,849 and has declined by 27% since then to a budget of $3,666,887. We are currently working with faculty to eliminate $600,000 in journals and electronic resources due to a recent budget deficit in the face of COVID-19. This budget decrease is not inclusive of the loss to our purchasing power. Each year journal and database costs increase more rapidly than normal inflation rates. These annual increases also chip away at the library’s ability to expand resources and allocate for new, largely electronic needs. As we all continue to work and learn remotely, it is imperative that the library provide access to the resources needed by students and faculty

Publication Date

11-2020

Disciplines

Library and Information Science

University Libraries Five Year Review

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