In his article, “Libraries Receive a Shrinking Piece of the University Pie,” Phil Davis at the Scholarly Kitchen responds to a new graphic from the American Research Libraries (ARL). According to Davis, libraries have struggled with tight budgets since the 80s, all while remaining relevant and resilient through huge technological shifts. Davis also suggests that the budgets of universities have grown larger, therefore, the graph illustrates, “that universities have failed miserably to keep their own spending under control.”
The campus library at my university is usually very crowded. It is a quiet place to study and nap, but it is also a place people go to eat, socialize, attend events, conduct research, do fundraising, relax between classes, check email, read the newspaper, etc. The bulletin boards are prime advertising space and are always slathered with paper. There is no denying the community presence of the library. At a time when the State of Florida may cut huge amounts of funding to universities, the libraries will have to absorb even more (and more devastating) cuts. We have to keep advocating for libraries and letting our government and universities know that libraries are crucial social learning hubs.