University librarians say budget cutbacks have led to less service for students at a time when enrolment is booming.

“The buildings are open, but not the service desks,” says Constance Adamson, an academic librarian at Queen’s University who is vice-president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.

“We’ve been cutting back the hours of the reference desk service at all campus libraries.”

The association is releasing a survey on today of 200 university librarians province-wide — representing one-third of their total numbers — that says their workloads have increased over the past three years as 28,000 additional students have entered the system.

At the same time, staff has been lost through attrition.

“Our entire staff com-plement has withered by 20 per cent” from the 2004-5 academic year until now, she added. “It’s gone from 153 full-time equivalent positions to 123.”

And like all departments at Queen’s, the library has this year been asked to reduce its budget by 1.5 per cent, but the cost of acquiring materials goes up 3 to 5 per cent each year.

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