By Charlie Smart
Change may be on the way for UConn’s Music and Dramatic Arts Library.
A letter from the School of Fine Arts administration makes it clear that no concrete decisions have yet been made regarding the music library, but goes on to say that its resources will be “consolidated” and that the library may look different in future years than it does today. What exactly this means is as of now unclear.
According to university spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz, many departments at the university have recently been asked to trim their budgets by around three percent. For the school’s libraries, that amounts to a budget cut of nearly $600,000. Reitz says that change to the music library may have financial implications if enacted, but stresses that the changes being considered are part of an ongoing review.
One suggestion is that many of the materials in the music library be moved across campus to Homer Babbidge Library. This proposal is cause for concern for some music and fine arts students who fear that the staff at Homer Babbidge may not have the expertise needed to curate music and fine arts collections. Some music students are also concerned that they may not have as easy access to the music scores they need for their classes.
Many students and alumni have taken action by signing an online petition, asking for the chance to negotiate. The petition currently has over 1,800 signatures.
In addition to fine arts students, the music library is used as a quiet study space by many students who live on the south side of campus.
Dean of the School of Fine Arts Brid Grant along with Music Department Head Eric Rice and Dramatic Arts Department Head Vincent Cardinal end their letter to the fine arts community by saying that they don’t have all the answers regarding the fate of the music library, but say they plan to arrange focus groups in the coming months and, “look forward to student participation.”