Two Reference and Instruction Librarians were laid off before the start of the semester due to the initiation of school-wide reprioritization, a new program that has carried out budget cuts across campus.
Director of Library Services Pamela Crenshaw said that the loss of these two important roles in her library has already began to affect the students and professors who utilized the class sessions and services offered by the reference and instruction librarians.
“I am devastated with the loss of my fellow colleagues and will truly miss having the services they offered here within the library,” Crenshaw said.
Crenshaw said that many professors who teach research based courses, such as Researched Writing, Media Criticism, and Nursing, spend at least one or two class periods with their students having them learn how to use the different methods of research that are offered. However, with the absence of these two librarians, students no longer get to reap the benefits of learning the helpful tips of library research.
Due to most professors on campus not being trained in library science and research, teaching students these skills is not a task most professors are equipped for.
“It is utterly ridiculous that we can no longer take our students for these research classes, if you ask me. Our students need this service and there is not much I can do besides let them loose and hope they can find the help they need,” said Dr. Tom Carmody, Communication Department professor and former chair.
The biggest shock for Crenshaw was her staff members coming to her saying they “got the call,” though she had never been informed they would be cut.
Through Crenshaw’s own research on private schools with similar undergrad populations, she reported that George Fox University has seven full-time faculty librarians and Seattle Pacific has a total of 19 full-time librarians, whereas Vanguard only has five.
However, there are currently 16 student workers in the library which means that students still have the opportunity to help students in the library while gaining work experience on campus.
Crenshaw said she is deeply concerned with the library’s newfound lack in service to the students and other staff and faculty members on campus. Furthermore, due to the highest enrollment of any freshman class, their workload is even heavier than before.
With high hopes for the future of her library and the students and staff and faculty members who come to use it, Crenshaw hopes to have more librarians on staff within the next three years to better serve everyone who so rightfully deserves a functioning college library.