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The Student News Site of Southwestern Oklahoma State University

The Southwestern

Al Harris Library Books and Database Budget cut: What can students do?


*This is a developing story, as more information becomes known, it will be promptly added*


In a message to the SWOSU Community, staff members of the Al Harris Library recently announced a significant budget cut for library books and databases would be affecting students through significant downgrades, and cancellations. 


The message outlined there would be a 16.4% decrease in the budget this year, which equates to a total of $509,000, down from the $609,000 figure for last year. This decrease in budget led to a decrease in 95,659 Ebook titles, 31,187 periodical journals and magazines and 15,712 multimedia titles. 


Library director Jason Dupree explains the library has had funding cuts for years, but this specific year it was more significant.


“The funding cuts have been happening to the library at least for the last 10 years, about every year we see anywhere from like $10,000 to $30,000 cut from our budget,” Dupree said. “This time around. It all came out of materials. And it was very large, very unexpected. So that left us kind of scrambling to figure out what we were going to cut without very much planning.”


As to why the library was hit so hard with the budget cuts? Mr. Dupree didn’t know but felt like the library had a target on its back. 


“I’ve asked why we were hit so hard this year, and I never got an answer,” Dupree said. “We’ve lost four and a half positions in the library. We lost the Sayre library. And so we feel like we have a target on our backs because we’re an easy place to cut.”


Going forward it becomes apparent that serious problems could arise if these cuts continue. 


“I have made it pretty clear to my boss that we’re at the point now where we’re going to start jeopardizing program accreditation,” Dupree said. “And I understand that the marketing aspect, the revenue aspect of growing new programs, but if you’re going to grow new programs, you also have to have the resources to back up that program.”


To help push back against future cuts, Dupree explains that it is most important for students to speak up, especially if they are affected by these cuts.


“They [students] can talk to SGA and say, we feel that this is something that this body needs to address. it does not hurt to pass along your wants and desires to your advisor, the department chair. It doesn’t hurt to ask for an appointment to speak with the dean of your college. I know their door is open. You could go talk to the provost, the President,” Dupree said. 


Dupree also explained what students should tell these people.


“Just say as a student of SWOSU I rely on these said resources. And I’m concerned about the way the funding is tracking for the library. Is the resource going to be there for my degree by the time I graduate?,” Dupree said. 

According to the website with the announcement, most of these cuts will take place at the start of the new year.

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Coy Pope, Media Manager
Coy Pope is a freshman from Yukon, Oklahoma and is majoring in Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement with a minor in Wild land fire. He enjoys writing and covering sports, but also enjoys covering other activities, events and basically anything SWOSU-related. Coy wrote for the YHS Insight during all four years in high school.

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