“The newly opened downtown Central Library is a big hit. On its first day of business, the nine-story, $196.7 million landmark drew 8,000 visitors. That’s roughly 10 times the average 700-800 daily users at the old 1954 library on E Street, the Board of Library Commissioners were told at their first monthly meeting in their top-floor commission room.” (via UTSanDiego.com)
760kfmb – “The city of San Diego’s 35 branch libraries opened on a Monday for the first time today in five years. Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office used part of a $17.8 million budget surplus in the current fiscal year to add to library hours, along with the amount of time recreation centers stay open. Those hours are set to expand further when the new fiscal year begins July 1. “For a lot of people, the library is a window to the world,” Sanders said. “With these additional hours, more residents will have more opportunities to study, learn and expand their horizons.”
San Diego Tribune Union – “Students forced open the doors of a shuttered University of California San Diego library Monday and rushed inside, vowing to stay around the clock until the end of final exams Friday. University police, who were on hand when students arrived at the library before 7 a.m., were pulled out of the area by administrators keen to avoid the kind of campus confrontations that have occurred recently, including the one at UC Davis last month when campus police sprayed nonviolent demonstrators with pepper spray. And administrators said they will not seek to punish anyone for the break-in.”
UC San Diego – “The estate of Alice Goldfarb Marquis, Ph.D., an accomplished writer, historian and alumna of the University of California, San Diego, has left $1.1 million to support the UC San Diego Libraries. The gift from the Alice G. Marquis Living Trust, which represents the largest bequest ever to the Libraries, will help to maintain and enhance collections and services of the UC San Diego Libraries, with a portion of the gift specifically designated to augment the existing H. Stuart Hughes UCSD Libraries Endowment for Modern European History. The Libraries will also direct some of the funding from the bequest to establish a new study area open 24 hours, five days a week, in Geisel Library.”
Inside Higher Ed – “The layoffs of eight library staff members — some with decades of experience and only a couple of years away from retirement — have faculty members at the University of San Diego up in arms. Critics call the administration’s actions an affront to the Roman Catholic teachings of the university. Administrators said a reorganization of the university’s Copley Library was necessary in an increasingly technological world, and eliminating some positions made way for the creation of new positions that ensure the library will stay on top of current, digital trends. Those who lost their jobs devoted many years to the university; four are over the age of 58 and two have worked at the library for more than 25 years. But their jobs include positions such as inventory control official, night supervisor and reserves manager — positions that the library doesn’t see as essential in a digital age. At the very least, faculty critics say, the library workers should have been retrained for new positions.”
Prospect Blog – “UCSD, facing an unprecedented budget shortfall, has announced that it will close four of the six major campus libraries. Administrators justified the necessity of the closure in a mass email sent out this morning:
“Earlier this year, we communicated to the campus community that significant and continuing budget cuts could lead to the closure of four of the Libraries’ facilities.
While we have not yet received our final budget allocation, we have been informed that the Libraries will need to absorb at least a $3 million cut for 2011/2012, which leaves us no choice but to move forward with these closures and consolidations.”
Voice of San Diego – “More than 30 years ago, the state hired Robert Rohlf, a consultant based in Minnesota, to evaluate the San Diego city and county library systems. He recommended consolidating the two departments into one at least in part because of budget pressures. It didn’t happen.
Now, the city’s library system remains one of the first targets when city leaders need big budget cuts. Last month, Mayor Jerry Sanders proposed hacking already reduced branch library hours to 18.5 a week to help plug next year’s deficit. City Council members have made clear those reductions won’t happen, but Sanders’ plan highlights the department’s continued withering.”
KPBS – “A group of San Diego City Council members vowed today to keep local libraries and recreation centers from painful budget cuts, and outlined a plan to maintain the facilities’ hours and employees.
“Never before has a City Council taken such a hands-on approach to solve budget problems,” council President Tony Young told reporters.
Young and several council colleagues spoke out in response to a proposal by Mayor Jerry Sanders to cut library and recreation center service hours in half to save money and eliminate positions.”
San Diego 10 News – “With San Diego’s budget in crisis and cutbacks on the horizon, efforts are being made to save the city’s libraries from the chopping block.
More than any other city service, libraries have extended resources through the use of volunteers. However, some believe volunteers may not be enough to keep city libraries from closing their doors for good.”
AP – “Anger boiled over on the University of California San Diego campus Friday, where students took over the chancellor’s office to protest the hanging of a noose in a campus library. Students wearing red handkerchiefs over their faces blocked the doors to Chancellor Marye Anne Fox’s offices for hours, while more students inside chanted “Real pain, real change.” The students remained inside the office several hours later.”