September 2021

Fall Semester 2021

A little over a week of the fall semester is now behind us. I’m grateful for campus efforts to ensure safety, starting with developing COVID-19 testing last year and right on through providing safe environments in classrooms and on campus with vaccine and mask requirements. I have to say, it’s been wonderful having people back in the Library. Thanks to all of my colleagues (that includes you!) for doing what they can to ensure effective teaching, study, and research.

One piece of very good news I’d like to share is the budget. We navigated both a budget reduction and our first ever self-funded salary program, and despite this double whammy to our budget, we are hiring once again. Working with the Executive Committee (EC), the Library Committee of Academic Professionals (LCAP), and the Library Staff Support Committee (LSSC), we have prioritized the following 10 positions to fill immediately—and now have campus approval.

  • Classics/Humanities Librarian (Literatures and Languages Library)
  • Facilities Operation Specialist (Library Facilities)
  • IT Specialist (Library IT)
  • IT Tech Associate (Library IT)
  • Library Specialist (Acquisitions and Cataloging Services)
  • Library Specialist (Acquisitions and Cataloging Services)
  • Library Specialist (Grainger Engineering Library Information Center)
  • Nighttime Library Specialist (Funk ACES Library)
  • Unit Head (Grainger Engineering Library Information Center)
  • Unit Head (Math Library)

Because of diminished resources and sustained needs, we have put into place a review process for filling open positions going forward. We will move more slowly than in the past to ensure that we do not overcommit our budget (this will allow us to retain some flexibility in light of possible future reductions) and to rethink the way that we approach our needs in light of a smaller overall budget.

In closing, I encourage everyone to show compassion and generosity to our colleagues. Of course, this doesn’t mean condoning unsafe behaviors, but it does mean flexibility in figuring things out, including work arrangements. Remember, we’re all in this together!

John Wilkin
The Juanita J. and Robert E. Simpson Dean of Libraries and University Librarian