I’m having one of those weeks that help me realize that true meaning of “library community,” which at Berkeley is characteristically fierce. To make a long story somewhat short: due to system-wide funding issues this year (20% across-the-board budget cut in our case), almost all campus libraries have been forced to close on Saturdays, as well as curtail our traditional 24-hour staffing period during finals week.
Needless to say, this news has not been met with rejoicing. Instead, here are two amazing responses:
1. Following the UC system-wide walkout on September 24, Berkeley students are holding an all-night “Study In” at the Anthropology Library tonight, to protest the cuts and Saturday closures. Instead of dragging students out by their armpits, campus police and library staff/administration are working together to make sure the event is both possible and safe, and that it communicates its intended message. Yours truly will be “staffing” the study-in in gleeful solidarity from 4-10 AM, as in providing a voluntary (flex-timed!) presence from 4-10 am, to make sure all is well, not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t miss this for anything , alongside my one of my favorite colleagues. Should be a shift to remember.
2. Just as incredibly, an anonymous donor gave the Libraries $30,000 to cover 24-hour staffing during finals.
The Chancellor has already asked our Director to present an estimate of what it will cost to reopen on Saturdays. This type of two-pronged response to our collective adversity is amazing, and an excellent reminder of the general goodwill that keeps us all running. Will tweet my study-in shift @charbooth this morning and follow-up post next week.