Severe cuts loom as staff requests student support
The library represents the heart of ULM, both physically and emotionally, but it may soon lose vital resources.
For the second year now, the Board of Regents has decreased funding to Louisiana universities’ libraries.
That funding helps to pay for the LOUIS Database, which provides over 40,000 journals and most of the databases available.
Library Dean Don Smith is very worried about statewide cuts.
“Libraries in this state are between a rock and a hard place on this,” said Smith.
“It can jeopardize current and future accreditation.”
For this year and the next, the library is paying for the program, which has tripled in cost.
However, the bill is a fraction of the potential $1 million that ULM would pay if universities didn’t pool its resources to pay for LOUIS.
Smith says, “LSU has admitted that they can’t even pay for it on their own.”
Unfortunately, the libraries cannot guarantee to continue offering LOUIS in coming years, especially since Smith’s “Save LOUIS” grant was denied by the Board of Regents.
Most students are not aware of the trouble the library is going through.
Amber Atkins, a junior business major from Monroe, is also worried about the state the library is in.
“I judge a university on three main criteria: Business department quality, VAPA quality and the library. Our library isn’t open 24/7 like a lot of universities’ libraries are,” Atkins said.
“Hearing that funds are being cut even more makes me question what else they could cut from the library or what they will charge to make up the difference.”
Smith said that students can help out by writing a personal message that will be made available for state legislators.