MANHATTAN, Kan. — Routine all night-access to Kansas State University’s Hale Library has ended, with the building closing at midnight most nights to save money.
Kansas State said in an email that its libraries lost nearly $1 million over the past two years from a drop in general funds and lower enrollment. The email said the funding reductions come at a time when costs are rising, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Last year, students had all-night access most weeks, Sunday through Thursday. Scaling back hours will save $110,000 annually, largely by paring back security and custodial needs. A notable exception to the new hours for Hale will be finals season, when the library will be open round-the-clock the week of and the week before exams.
The library also is cutting subscriptions and reducing staffing levels through attrition.
The amount of money the university has received from the state has shrunk from $163 million in the 2010 fiscal year to $158 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2017, university spokesman Jeff Morris told The Associated Press.
Most recently, Gov. Sam Brownback issued budget cuts in May and June to help shore up the state’s budget, including 4 percent cuts to the state’s six public universities. The University of Kansas and Kansas State University, however, took proportionately larger cuts of about 5 percent each because the smaller universities rely more heavily on state funding for their overall operating budgets than the larger research institutions.
Libraries aren’t the only thing affected. Morris said Kansas State told all its departments this year to cut 3.85 percent from their budgets, with some leaving positions unfilled, delaying technology upgrades and hiring fewer graduate teaching assistants.
Despite the recent cuts, higher education funding statewide has increased $21.8 million since Brownback’s first budget for fiscal year 2012, said his spokeswoman, Eileen Hawley. That figure includes community colleges and universities in Kansas. Hawley noted in her statement that “each university determines budget priorities for their institution.”