By Kendra Hartmann/SDNews.com
With budget cuts rearing their ugly head on a regular basis, news of more casualties falls on almost numb ears. The University of California, San Diego, however, is feeling the threat of tightening purse strings in a whole new way. For the students, scientists and public that frequent the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) Library, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed cuts could mean the end of an era: the largest library in the world dedicated to marine science will likely close this summer.
“It doesn’t make any sense that our 100-year-old unique facility should be terminated,” said Walter Munk, professor emeritus at the UCSD Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and longtime SIO Library user.
On top of the $5 million that has been cut from the university’s library system budget, administrators have been told to plan for an additional $3 million slash. The result, according to university librarian Brian Schottlaender, is that UCSD will have no option other than to consolidate the eight unique campus libraries into a just few general facilities. In a letter he addressed to colleagues on the UCSD website, Schottlaender indicated that with the proposed cuts, the university would have to close, at a minimum, four library facilities: the Center for Library and Instructional Computing Services (CLICS), the International Relations/Pacific Studies Library (IR/PS), the Medical Center Library and the SIO Library.