“For the past few years, both the California State University and the University of California libraries have been experimenting with packages that replace paper books with e-books. The advantages are obvious. With e-books, you no longer have to schlep to a library to take out a book. You just log on from whatever device connects you to the web, at whatever time and in whatever state of dress, and voila! the book appears on your screen. But the real attraction is price. Library budgets, along with university budgets, have been slashed, and such companies as Pearson and Elsevier offer e-book packages that make it possible to gain access (I’ll explain the awkward syntax in a moment) to lots of books at what seems like a minimal cost. The savings are multiplied when the package serves the entire system. So instead of each campus buying a paper book, all 23 CSU’s, for instance, share a single e-book. That’s the theory, at least. The reality is very different.” (via Times of San Diego)
“The Downtown Central Library is getting gamers geared up for Comic-Con in a unique way. The public library has launched an alternate reality game that participants say is the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming four-day expo. “An alternate reality game is an interactive story that takes place in real time, in a real world setting such as here in Central Library, which involves players solving puzzles and perfuming activities,” said Erwin Magbanua, Special Events Librarian. Magbanua said the Central Library is one of just a handful of libraries across the country that has ever tried something like this. The clues appear in email form and online as well as in the library.” (via KSWB)
“San Diego City Council members praised the mayor’s proposed budget for libraries Wednesday, but expressed concerned about a fund for acquisitions being reduced by $500,000. The same amount was redirected to pay for a pilot program offering after- school tutoring at 18 branches in areas where students scored poorly on standardized tests. (via Times of San Diego)
“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.”