The University of California, Berkeley, will shutter three libraries—the anthropology, physics-astronomy and mathematics statistics libraries—in the next few years, part of a long-term plan to save money, Berkeleyside reported.
The closures aim to “cut costs in the face of rising financial pressures, including inflation, repairs for aging campus infrastructure and the wage increase won by graduate students during the recent strike,” according to Berkeleyside. Currently, libraries make up 1.3 percent, or $42 million, of the university’s $3.2 billion budget, down from 3.5 percent of the total budget in 2006.
The anthropology and physics-astronomy libraries, both of which are slated to close entirely by August 2025, have been largely emptied already. While the materials from the libraries will still be available, accessing them will be less convenient, and some worry that the university may eventually get rid of the collections.
Students, faculty and library workers are petitioning and protesting against the closures.