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The Antelope

Administration raises student fees to gain library funds


Student credit hour fees will be adjusted to increase funding for library resources. UNK will be making significant cuts to what they are buying so that budgets remain the same. 

UNK will make cuts to the number of databases they are subscribed to because costs for them are unmaintainable. 

“Costs go up three to five percent a year for most databases,” said Ryan Boyd, Dean of UNK’s Calvin T. Ryan Library, “It’s just not sustainable long-term to have everything.”

Identifying the cost-per-use and cost of the database for the resources that are being utilized will be the starting point to understanding what will be cut from library resources. A lot of the subject material within databases crosses over so UNK may consider either reducing to a lower-tier database with fewer titles or canceling it completely. 

There is no more money in the state budget to bring toward the cost, so the student credit hour fee is an area where the University of Nebraska system can make an adjustment to increase funding for library resources. The current $6.25/credit hour library fee will increase to $8.25, pending approval from the Board of Regents.

Next week, the collection development team will meet to talk numbers since there are databases that are necessary for specific programs across the UNK campus.  For example, marketing students have a database that has deemed useful for specific courses within their program. 

“It is fairly expensive based on cost-per-use but it’s also something really important for one of our programs,” Boyd said. “It will probably make it through the process without us canceling it.”

General use databases that overlap many titles will be reduced or canceled completely to make use of other tools. Along with the database cuts, UNK lost 30 percent of the rows in the library since row space was non-ADA compliant. 

Withdrawing materials from the library was done with ease considering that many outdated journals and books were no longer useful to students. While many areas of the library were untouched, some titles were removed strategically so that students can have relevant material that can be used for current and future research. 

Once library staff was able to identify some outdated collections from the sixties, very few of those titles were relevant, therefore were removed. The size of the UNK campus and the number of resources we had before these changes allowed library staff and the collection development team to withdraw close to 70 percent of outdated titles. 

“We might have missed a few titles and we might have pulled titles that we shouldn’t have,” Boyd said. “But because we are part of the Nebraska University system, the other campuses are able to help us out if we did get rid of something that was more important.”

UNK’s Calvin T. Ryan library is still open for students. Students can access the basement for study spaces and can continue to use library spaces to study or take a break between classes. First-floor study spaces will be available along with computer labs. Students will always have laptops available for checkout for four hours at a time if they wanted to take them out of the building.

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