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Library, museum hours reduced as cost-saving measure

by Karen A. Grava - March 30, 2009

The hours of the Homer Babbidge Library and two museums on campus will be cut, beginning March 30, because of budget concerns.

The cuts will lead to immediate savings of about $40,000 a year and are part of ongoing efforts by the University to cope with a 3 percent rescission in this fiscal year and a projected $35 million shortfall in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Provost Peter Nicholls said he is also planning to cut the budget for the museums by $300,000, beginning in Fiscal Year 2011.

“We are working to trim costs wherever we can,” he said. “Coping with the budgetary environment will take efforts both large and small, and some services will have to be curtailed.”

The cuts will result in a 50 percent reduction in hours at the William Benton Museum of Art and a 40 percent reduction at the Museum of Natural History.

The Dodd Center will also have a 50 percent reduction and will be open 20 hours a week. Starting this week, the Homer Babbidge Library will open at 8:30 a.m., one hour later than it has been opening.

These cuts are in addition to $7 million to be achieved in the next fiscal year, as recommended by the Costs, Operations, and Revenue Efficiencies (CORE) Task Force.

Those recommendations include both revenue enhancements, such as increasing summer school offerings, and savings, including energy conservation, staffing reorganization, streamlined work processes, and a reduction in printing. The task force is expected to issue another report with further recommendations in June.


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