A new sub-committee of the Union Council has been set up to discuss funding alternatives for the library. According to Students’ Union Education Officer, Sam Geoghegan, the sub-committee, which consists of Council Representatives, will strive to “do more with less.”
The Council members come from various disciplines and Geoghegan hopes that this will mean the best possible allocation of library resources. “Students made up from Science, Arts, Business, Law – just so I can get a different prospective. The students would know more than I would about the issues on the ground. It’s so I can know what the issues are and can bring them to the registrar. We’re going to have another meeting after the elections.”
Recent budget cuts will mean an inevitable reduction in the number of books purchased as well as a reduction in journal and database subscriptions. “They can’t touch their staffing costs. They can’t touch their costs for facilities such as lighting, heat, electricity. So the only area that there would be a degree of flexibility is the issue of funding for books or journal subscriptions or databases,” said Geoghegan.
A Library User’s Committee is set to meet within the next fortnight to discuss the funding and budget issues. This will be their first meeting of this academic year. Representatives from the Student’s Union on this Committee include the President, the Education Officer and the Post-Graduate Officer. “I’ve worked a lot with staff at the library and with the Vice-President for Students, whose responsibility it is to call this meeting. The main reason [for the delay in holding the meeting] is that they’re looking to change the formation of the group but I have had assurances that they’re going to meet in the next two weeks.”
Despite some confusion over changes in accessing databases, no database subscriptions have been cancelled. Geoghegan pointed out that the databases subscriptions are paid for by a funding initiative set up by the Department of Education and not the University. ‘Jstor and other journals aren’t funded by UCD, they’re funded by IReL. It’s in all the universities”.
In the past, the library has had various initiatives to raise funds, such as selling old books. The library has also appealed to alumni of the university to buy a book and donate it to the library. Geoghan expressed hope that this will happen again in the future. “The library has had some great initiatives in the past. They made a couple of grand and the students will see the benefit from that.”