With the start of the furlough, we will now be reducing services to the general public per our plan approved by the Dean. I am including a response below that can be used when responding to requests for research assistance. Please direct all follow-up inquiries to me. You should not need to answer for the policy decisions involved. As noted last Friday, it is also important that we apply this uniformly.
There are several reasons why we are taking these steps:
- to recognize that we cannot provide the same level of service with a 20% reduction in staffing. Some services like the Museum are closed altogether one day a week. That is not an option for us, but just because we are maintaining most hours of operation does not mean all services will always be available.
- to preserve staff time for our primary mission of serving cadets, faculty, and staff of USMA.
As librarians I know we all have a strong public service attitude and desire to help when asked, which makes situations like the one we are in now particularly challenging. Sequestration is having a significant negative affect on our ability to provide resources and services. Our reduction in service is a truthful and natural consequence of the decision to reduce both our resource budget and our personnel budget.
We will add a page to our website today that also gives an overview of these changes. It will be linked from the top of the home page. Once that page goes live, there will be a public blog posting along with updates on Facebook and Twitter regarding the service changes.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I appreciate everyone’s commitment to service and our mission, especially at times such as this.
===== STANDARD RESPONSE TO INQUIRIES ======
Thank you for your inquiry regarding reference or research assistance from the U.S. Military Academy Library at West Point. Due to reduced staffing levels and the current furlough of all civilian Department of Defense employees, we regret that we are unable to support your request at this time. Please visit our website (http://www.usma.edu/library) for updates regarding service availability.
If your request is regarding access to our Special Collections and Archives materials, please note that the collections are closed to all researchers through August 2013 while we relocate these materials to their new permanent location in Bartlett Hall North. Once the move is complete, the collections will be available for curricular support only due to staff vacancies and the civilian employee furlough.
Questions regarding library services should be directed to:
Mr. Christopher Barth
Librarian and Associate Dean
U.S. Military Academy Library
758 Cullum Road / Building 758
West Point, NY 10996