Harvard Library in Jeopardy Due to Re-Org and Cuts, Says Harvard Library Union in Editorial

From the the Harvard Crimson (Library System in Jeopardy):

Since 2009, Harvard has been reorganizing its 73 libraries into a consolidated entity, the Harvard Library. Library staff members are deeply concerned that some of the proposed changes, including workforce reductions, will result in serious threats to the integrity of the Library. We worry that if the voices of staff are not heard and the reorganization continues on its present course, thousands of books and materials could be lost, service standards could drop to unacceptable levels, and human relationships that are key to research, curriculum, and collection development could be severed.

In recent communications, Harvard Library leaders have implied that staffing levels need to be reduced to put us in line with our peers, asserting that Harvard spends more on its library than other universities. But HL leaders have not provided the community with any data to support the assumption that this discrepancy is caused by “overstaffing.” We would expect Harvard Library to be more expensive to operate than its peers—it is larger, with a spectacularly broad and unique collection that requires sophisticated maintenance. It has significant offsite holdings, and offers deluxe services such as HD Transfer and “Scan-and-Deliver.”

Read more at the Harvard Crimson.


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