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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University Students Association. Volume 40, Number 3. March 14, 1977.

Library Cuts

Library Cuts

To understand the cuts in library hours we must look at the whole university and the relationship between the two. The closure of the library at 6p.m. on Fridays in term, and on all weekdays in the May and August vocations is estimated to save about $4,000 in staff costs.

The cuts stem from a money saving exercise because basically the library hasn't Rot enought money. When we look at the percentage of university current expenditure from public funds donated to the library we see that Victoria spends 8.67%, Auckland 7.95%, Canterbury 8.68% and Otago 7.58%. This puts Victoria almost as high as Canterbury and well ahead of Auckland and Otago.

But when we examine the total library expenditure on a per enrolled full-time student basis Victoria is well below the others i.e. Auckland spends $158.7, Canterbury $177.2, Otago $186.0 and Victoria $148.9.

The reason for this is found in the total university expenditure from public funds per enrolled full-time student; Victoria's grant from the University Grants Committee, being less per capita than the others

Early last year the Librarian had been asked by the Committee of Vice-Chancellor and Deans to report on the feasibility of achieving savings in staffing up to the end of the present quinquennium on the understanding that any such savings would be transferred to the grant for books and periodicals. This was prompted by the fact that we spend less on library acquisitions as a percentage of the library's salary costs than any of the other universities. BUT this does not mean that we are actually overstaffed compared to the others. If we look at the figures —
Library staff per 100EFT students
Auckland1.63
Victoria1.48
Canterbury1.62
Otago1.60.
Equally we are also spending less on library resources. Expenditure on library resources per Enrolled full-time student is roughly: —
Auckland$71.4
Victoria57.5
Canterbury84.2
Otago82.2

So that whatever may be said about Victorias' high percentage we spend less on resources and have fewer staff than the other three other universities.

The Library does not want to cut back services in any way but because of budgetary restrictions and in order to keep up what is obviously the most important aspect of the Library's function the library was forced to explore the least destructive economics.

The number of borrowers who used the library on Friday night was smaller than the rest of the week. So the library fell forced to make the cuts in this area.

But the reduction in library services is only one of the problems in the library. Student seating ratio has also been chopped into, a comfortable aim in the original plan was a minimum of one seat to four students enrolled. From 1976 it became one seat to five. Five students enrolled.

The periodicals shelving was 95% full — the reference room (on Floor 2) along with 100 seats was replaced by temporary "periodicals shelving". In 1977 the floor one class rooms were taken but due to the efficiency of the University Council there will not be enough shelves to house all the necessary periodicals, and money was not allocated in time to have the shelving put up before the beginning of the 1977 year.

Another problem is the air system which does not circulate air efficiently and an inefficient temperature control system, which together results in the library being uncomfortably hot and stuffy for both students and staff.

In the light of this information the Students Association is proposing this motion to the Professorial Board.

11 March 1977 Motion for Professorial Board:

"That Professorial Board is dissatisfied and opposes the current level of finance made available to the Union Library through the Quinquennial Grant and until this reaches a satisfactory level, place the development of Library faculties at a high priority and will oppose cutbacks in the library services including the present ones."

If students or staff would like to agree, disagree with this article or add any further information please contact me or Salient.

At the moment there is a petition circulating protesting against the cuts. Further action will be discussed at the next SRC — be there.

— Lindy Cassidy