Researchers: Show your support for UO Librarians

The UO Libraries are one of several areas on campus facing significant loss of Career faculty FTE in the coming year, according to United Academics (UA).

A recent article on UA’s website notes that, “of the 42 faculty librarians, 15 have been renewed at only .55 FTE for the coming year, and 5 more face half-time contracts because promotions would put them on a new contract cycle. This FTE reduction would cut the UO librarian workforce by roughly 25%.”

This workforce reduction could have significant impacts on research activities at University of Oregon. Already short-staffed after several years of budget cuts, additional cuts to faculty librarians “would inevitably lead to a significant reduction in or loss of many library services and professional expertise, which will have ripple effects on research, teaching, and learning across the entire university,” UA states.

Michelle McKinley, CSWS director and Bernard B. Kliks Professor of Law, notes that she relied heavily on the services of our librarians, especially the law librarians, during the process of writing her book, Fractional Freedoms: Slavery, Intimacy, and Legal Mobilization in Colonial Lima, 1600–1700 (2016). She says the book never could have been completed without the excellent research skills of librarians who could navigate interlibrary loan system to procure printed sources and deftly maneuver other historical databases.

“As historians, our books are products of libraries as spaces to think, write, and discover knowledge,” McKinley said “Monographs produced in the humanities plumb the depth of archival holdings, many of which need the expertise of Special Collections personnel. We can’t jeopardize our strengths in monograph writing by cutting librarians’ FTE.”

McKinley also notes that women make up a majority of the labor force in the field of Library Science.

Please join with us as we take the following actions suggested by United Academics:

  • Email your Deans, the Provost, and others with institutional power to make clear the broad impact that these losses will have on teaching, research, and learning at UO. Let them know that we need our librarians!
  • Contribute testimonials by filling out a short survey.
  • Visit UOLibrariansUnited.com to stay informed about how UO’s librarians are organizing. This site contains email templates and a brief survey about how librarians have contributed to your research/teaching.

According to UA, some of the many UO library functions at risk include:

Research and Instruction Expertise

  • Eight subject liaison librarians who support instruction, research, and library collections for the College of Education, Lundquist College of Business, School of Music and Dance, and 20 departments or program areas in the College of Arts and Sciences.
  • All three librarians in the Price Science Commons. They manage the Math tutoring center and support instruction, research, and library collections for STEM fields.
  • Three out of five librarians in the Law Library who teach credit-bearing courses on legal research, and support instruction, research, and library collections for the School of Law.

Access to UO Libraries Collections

  • Two librarians who manage library databases and e-resources, ensuring online access to full-text journals and e-books.
  • Three librarians who catalog specialized material formats, including serials, sound recordings, and rare books. They ensure that library users can find what they search for.
  • Two librarians who manage access, preservation, and instruction for digital collections, including the Historic Oregon Newspaper Program and Oregon Digital, UO and OSU’s joint digital cultural heritage archive.
  • Two librarians in Special Collections and University Archives who manage 50,000 linear feet of collections, preserve and curate large collections of archival visual materials, and support access to unique primary source collections.

Digital Scholarship, Data, and Open Access

  • Two librarians who support digital scholarship projects and the advancement of digital scholarship and data management on campus.
  • Two librarians who coordinate the Digital Research, Education, and Media (DREAM) Lab.
  • Two librarians who support open access resources through leadership roles in the Senate Sub-Committee on Open Access and the Senate University Library Committee.

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