Budget forces library database cutbacks

Nine databases
have been cut from the UM system’s MERLIN libraries.
Wednesday, October 1, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:52 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The University of Missouri system’s MERLIN libraries have cut $159,000 worth of database subscriptions in the past few months as budgetary reins have been tightened, said Mary Ryan, head of Ellis Reference Services at MU.

The most popular database of the ones being cut, Periodical Abstracts, was discontinued Tuesday.

Missouri Education and Research Libraries Information Network is the name of the library system at the four UM campuses and Saint Louis University. Cuts started on Aug. 1. So far, nine databases have been cut, with one more scheduled to be cut in February.

Ryan said it is hard to know who will be most affected by the cuts. She said it largely depends on the users and their research interests.

There are alternatives for some of the databases, Ryan added. She said the committee that decided on what to cut tried to pick those whose absence would have the least impact.

University budget cuts forced libraries to cut more than just databases. MU’s Ellis Library cut 231/2 full-time staff positions in the past few years and also reduced its student staff.

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