UC Berkeley Library announces plans for reduced services, 3 closures

This article was originally published on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, in The Daily Californian. You can read an archived version at the Internet Archive.

The UC Berkeley Library has announced plans for the long-term reduction of library services due to a reduced budget and smaller workforce, according to a proposal released Monday. 

The proposal recommends campus transition to a model where 11 “hub” libraries offer comprehensive services, 6 “satellite” libraries offer reduced services and two libraries offer services by appointment only. The Anthropology, Mathematics Statistics and Physics-Astronomy libraries would be closed under the proposal. 

The proposal recommends that the Bancroft; Biosciences, Natural Resources & Public Health; Business; Chemistry & Chemical Engineering; Doe; East Asian; Engineering; Environmental Design; Main (Gardner) Stacks; Moffitt; and Music libraries become “hub” libraries. 

The Art History & Classics; Earth Sciences & Map; Graduate Services; Morrison; Social Research; and South & Southeast Asia libraries would offer reduced services as “satellite” libraries. The Media Resources Center and Newspapers & Microforms Library would offer services by appointment only. 

Since 2003, the library’s staff has shrunk by 40% and inflation-adjusted funding per student has decreased by 47%, according to the proposal. Library staff has worked “tirelessly” to offer increased services despite the lack of resources, the proposal noted. 

The proposal also cites the changing needs of students, faculty and campus as reasons for the change in library services. It comes after the library decided to offer reduced services during the 2022–23 school year.

Increases to the library budget in the future could “reinforce” library locations and potentially permit more services to be offered, according to the proposal. However, reduced or “stagnant” budgets could require the reduction of more services or the closing of more library spaces, it added.

The proposal is open for comment through Oct. 31, and a student forum on the plans will be held in Morrison Library on Oct. 10 from 4–5 p.m., according to the proposal.

Check back for updates. 

Last updated Tuesday, October 4, 2022. Written by Gabe Classon.

Tags: Anthropology Library, Art History/Classics Library, Biosciences, Business Library, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library, Doe Library, Earth Sciences & Map Library, East Asian Library, Engineering library, Environmental Design Library, Graduate Services, Main Gardner Stacks, Mathematics Statistics Library, media resources center, Moffitt Library, Morrison Library, music library, Natural Resources & Public Health Library, Newspapers & Microforms Library, Physics-Astronomy Library, Social Research Library, South/Southeast Asia Library, The Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley Library