Cash runs short in Spiva

Jerome Doan, senior studio art major, studies in Missouri Southerns Spiva Library.

Jerome Doan, senior studio art major, studies in Missouri Southern’s Spiva Library.

Alexandra Nicolas

In an environment of budget cuts, Wendy McGrane, director of the library, is just grateful it hasn’t been worse.

“I’ve really been pleased that we have not taken a more dramatic hit than what we did,” she said. “If we can maintain a flat budget I’ll be a happy camper.”

The library suffered the same across-the-board cut as the rest of the departments on campus, however inflation added an additional $18,000 price tag to maintaining the library’s electronic databases.

Databases like LexisNexis are available to both library patrons on campus and to distance learning students.

Traditionally, any library funding leftover after covering the cost of databases and periodical subscriptions is distributed to academic departments across campus to purchase books deemed useful for students.

However, budget cuts have not allowed for the purchase of more traditional books. McGrane said the library staff had to choose what gave them the “most bang for the buck,” and maintain resources available to the most students.

“For me just to maintain status quo, I need more than I did the year before,” she said.

Despite no additions to the library’s print collection, professors have been sensitive to budget shortfalls all across campus.

“They all feel that the library needs more money,” McGrane said. “But every department needs more money, they have been extremely understanding. It helps.”

Student Senator Adam Givens, who also works in the library, has taken the issue to heart, sponsoring a bill in the Senate to support the library’s funding in the future.

“I see this everyday when I work,” he said. “I see the outdated books and I view the library as the pivotal point of knowledge.”

Unfortunately, McGrane believes the situation with library funding will only worsen as inflation raises library costs and budgets continue to drop.

“If we don’t get an increase in budget, which I don’t anticipate that we will, we will, in all likelihood, not be allocating to departments,” she said. “It’s just the reality of what we have to do.”