Meeting Date: 
May 17, 2021
Mon 05/17/2021 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Zoom Meeting
  1. Update from the Interim University Librarian, Anne-Marie Deitering, covering:
    • COVID re-opening plans
    • FY22 library budget update

Voting members present: Erica Fleishman, Carolyn Fonyo, Christine Gallagher, Kate Kerish, Melissa Santala
Voting members absent: Janet Nishihara and Hua-yu Li
Ex-officio member present: Anne-Marie Deitering – Interim University Librarian
Guest: Kerri Goergen-Doll, Kara Witzke


Chair Melissa Santala presided and took notes for the minutes, but lost connection to the Zoom meeting at 11:45, before the meeting ended. Notes for that time were added by Carolyn Fonyo.

Update from the Interim University Librarian

  • COVID Re-opening Plans
    • End of Valley Library Building Reservations: Starting end of spring quarter/early summer reservations will no longer be required for the main floor of the Valley Library. Usage numbers are currently low, expected to increase when reservations not required, but also expect fewer students in the area in the summer. End of reservations will not be advertised to allow for a soft start.
    • There have been few behavior problems regarding COVID restrictions in the past year, but they have been increasing recently (due to the changing situation from increasing opening and vaccinations).
    • Valley Library Building Closure: The Valley Library will close for the entire month of August to re-set the building for fall quarter because of the large task to re-arrange furniture that had been moved to the 6th floor to allow for distancing. A single summer closure for reset was deemed to be least disruptive. Library services will available during the building closure, e.g., carry out, printing, home delivery.
    • Fall Quarter Opening: All floors of the Valley Library are planned to be re-opened and it is anticipated no physical distancing will be required, which will make the Library an effective group study space again. Based on recent mask guidance from CDC, it is possible there will be no mask mandate in the fall, however, this has little impact on the staffing needs.
           Kerri Goergen-Doll asked about plans for Guinn Library at Hatfield Marine Science Center. Anne-Marie answered that the hours are more limited hours (regularly 8-5) and that fewer students are expected over the summer. Expect that use of research carrels and key access will be allowed starting in the summer.
           Marit Bovbjerg asked about course reserves in the fall and if physical material reserves will be available. Anne-Marie Deitering answered that she hoped to continue with the digital lending practices, which includes owning a single physical copy and lending a scanned digital copy, which has been viewed as an acceptable practice during the pandemic. She will be meeting with counsel in June to see if this practice could continue through fall when things return to normal. Need input from counsel to navigate copyright and fair use.  
  • FY22 library budget update from Anne-Marie Deitering
    • Context:
           Anne-Marie Deitering: The collections budget has been routinely overspent since 2015; this has been covered using savings in other areas and by using carry forward funds. There was a budget recission in FY19 and last year there was 7.7% budget cut. This left the library ~$1.5 M short last year. The gap was managed by leaving 11 staff positions unfilled. The current budget has not reverted to normal levels, however, at least nine staff positions need to be filled to re-open the building.
           David Barber: To answer questions about budget history: Technology Resource Fee reduction was supposed to be added to library after 2015. David will try to look up more of the history.
  • Budget Request:
         Anne-Marie Deitering: Since the current budget is ~$1.5 M short of normal, this money was requested – but was not granted. The request to keep carry forward this year in order to cover the collections gap for the year and to hire staff was granted. This would give a year to plan for a major (~$1M - 2M) collections cut.
  • Five-year Budget Projections: Two scenarios were considered.
         Scenario 1: Assumes $900,000 added in 2022 to get 9 staff positions back and assume a flat budget.
         Scenario 2: Assumes a more realistic 5% increase of collections costs and 5% increase for services and supplies. Then need +$1M in FY23 and $0.5M in FY24 to prevent a major collections cut. Carry forward would still be needed to make collection budget work. This means there is an impending $1-1.5M cut in a $6M collection budget.
    em_ research and teaching needs with respect to collections holdings. The OSU library is considered a research library but has not been funded or staffed at the level of comparable peer research libraries. The library has been underfunded relative to peer institutions for decades_
  • Reactions to the budget update:
         Erica: appreciated the projections and is new to OSU, being here for a year; was previously at UC system. These are “gobsmacking” cuts, counter to what OSU aspires to be in terms of a research enterprise. Asked: How can the Library Committee assist?
         Anne-Marie Deitering: The budget office understands the library needs but may have unrealistic expectations about the effect of digitization on collections costs. Other units (e.g., Research Office, Information Technology, facilities) must also make due with tight budgets. It’s not just a matter of making a case for the resources. The need may be to prioritize advocacy for essential research resources and staff. The University Librarian position (search pending) will become Dean of Libraries. Unless the position is on par with other deans, the library will not have a direct path to the Provost’s Office. Increasing understanding of the potential benefits of parity among deans could be useful.
         David Barber: OSU expresses its research ambitions college-by-college, but for teaching there is an OSU-wide vision. Suggested there is a need for campus-wide dialogs on OSU’s aspirations as a research institution.
         Question: Will there be a push regarding maintaining collections at the expense of a personnel shortfall?
         Anne-Marie: There is always a push and pull. Some users prioritize the collections they need, however staff are essential. Staffing is currently 12 positions short and there have been no new positions in the last 15 years. The library classified positions are already extremely low paid. The staff needs to be protected in order to serve the community.
         Marit Bovbjerg: Suggested that budget issues should be highlighted prominently in the annual Library Committee report to the Faculty Senate.
         Melissa Santala: Agreed to highlight budget issues in the annual report and then lost connection to the Zoom meeting.
         Anne-Marie Deitering pointed out that OSU no longer meets the standards for affiliation with the Great Western Library Association.
        Carolyn Fonyo commented that this is an important point to be emphasized in the annual report as an absolute minimum.
         Anne-Marie Deitering asked for input on strategizing going forward and to send ideas directly to her.
         A budget comparison with other Oregon universities was also suggested.
        Carolyn Fonyo suggested the emphasis on collaborative efforts between institutions to be pursued in order to reduce costs and minimize duplication.


Minutes taken by Melissa Santala and Carolyn Fonyo