Posted by: char booth | 9 October 2009

this is how we do it.

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.



  1. […] of events, the Berkeley student “Study-In” protest and resulting parent donations I posted about a few weeks ago have allowed the University Library to resume Saturday service, as well as provide […]

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