The Lumberjack

HSU Library Faces $150,000 in Budget Cuts

Student walking to Humboldt State University Library. | Photo by Liam Olson

By Erin Chessin

About $150,000 is being subtracted from the HSU Library due to extreme budget cuts the school is facing.

This means that $80,000 is coming out of library staff positions and $70,000 is coming out of the library’s research collection, including books, databases, and journals.

Students and staff will start to feel the impact starting July 1 when the budget cuts will take effect.

HSU students working on computers at the HSU Library. | Photo by Liam Olson

Cyril Oberlander, the Dean of the University Library, said he wants to assure students that the school is making its budget cut choices in favor of the students.

“We have to be strategic about our budget cuts in the end and decide what is most likely to help students out the most,” Oberlander said.

The library’s biggest concern is to make sure students have all the resources they need to succeed in their education. This means providing more textbooks on reserve, improving the technology, and putting in more tables for students to work at.

Recently the library has made new additions to the second floor of the library by adding big screens for students to hook up their computers to and collaboration tables with charger ports in order to make the library environment easier to study.

The Dean of the Library’s goal is to keep student jobs in the library.

“I would like to hire more students in the library,” Oberlander said. “Student employment is great for retention and many students are dealing with debt.”

HSU Financial Affairs has to make budget cut choices amongst its departments, and unfortunately, the school cannot hold off the debt any longer.

Students working and sitting in the HSU Library lobby. | Photo by Liam Olson

“We only have a budget that stretches so far and this is the year we have to make cuts,” Oberlander said.

According to Oberlander, there are two reasons the school is facing debt. One reason is out of HSU’s control.

“Federal and state funding for higher education has been gradually decreasing over the years,” Oberlander said.

The second reason for the debt is the school’s overspending. A meeting was held on April 9 where the HSU Center Board of Directors met to discuss the debt issue.

“During the last five years, the University has been overspending and this year the deficit is at $4.1 million,” Peg Blake, the VP of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, said in the meeting’s release statement.

HSU students working in the HSU library. | Photo by Liam Olson

Hundreds of students flow in and out the library every day, many relying on the computer software, databases, and textbooks on reserve to get their degree. Jocelyn Barber is a junior environmental engineering major who relies on the library to get a hold of pricey textbooks required for a class.