Stanford University Libraries Have Laid Off 32 Employees, Will Close Physics Library

The Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources have laid off 32 employees, eliminated 26 vacant positions, and plan to close the Physics Library in 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

University Libraries announced Wednesday that it has laid off 32 employees. It also offered nine other staff members the option of being laid off and receiving severance benefits instead of staying in revamped positions at reduced pay or reduced hours.

The unit also announced plans to permanently close the Physics Library in the summer of 2010 and transfer its holdings to other locations. . . .

"This has been a challenging process and layoffs have been undertaken only after careful assessment of all budget options," said University Librarian Michael Keller.

"We greatly regret the need to lay off staff who have been dedicated to the library and its mission. However, the elimination of these positions will enable us to balance our budget. I am confident that we can weather the crisis, and we begin immediately the important task of revamping and rebuilding our organization."

All told, more than 60 library positions have been affected by layoffs, reassignments and other cost-cutting measures to meet the 2010 budget reduction mandated by the university.

University Libraries has also eliminated 26 vacant positions.

In addition to trimming its workforce, University Libraries has cut expenses by reducing the purchase of books, journals and online subscriptions; closing Green Library at 1 a.m.; eliminating patron outreach programs, including the semi-annual magazine Imprint; and eliminating most staff travel.

In Stanford Provost John Etchemendy's "2009-2010 Stanford University Budget Plan" presentation on 05/28/09 to the Faculty Senate, it was stated that the Libraries face a 13.5% general funds budget reduction.

In "University Budget Announced," Etchemendy is reported as saying that the Stanford Auxiliary Libraries project must proceed, noting that:

"If we don’t build that soon, Mike’s going to have to start burning books," Etchemendy said, referring to University Librarian Michael Keller.

Read more about the Stanford University budget situation at "Cuts to Hiring Will Affect Growth, Composition of Faculty"; "Provost Announces Salary Freeze, Additional Cuts for FY 10"; "Provost Outlines Next Year's Budget"; "Recession Leads to Strategic Shift"; and "University Suspends $1.3 Billion in Capital Projects."