After budget cuts, Missouri Libraries seeks book donations -

After budget cuts, Missouri Libraries seeks book donations

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University of Missouri (AP Images). University of Missouri (AP Images).

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri Libraries, responding to the loss of millions of dollars in its budget, is asking book lovers for some help.

Two weeks ago, library officials posted a website with a wish list of more than 400 books they hoped to buy for the libraries but are not able to because of budget cuts. The website gives willing donors a way to buy specific books for teaching and research, The Columbia Missourian reported ( ).

The most expensive is "Complete and Truly Outstanding Works by Homer," which costs $5,250. The least expensive book on the list is "Another Time, Another Place," by Jessie Kesson, which costs $16.75.

MU Libraries cut $1.2 million in material costs for fiscal 2017, and is facing about $1.3 million in one-time cuts to its collection expenses in fiscal 2018.

MU Libraries buys a lot of academic journals and the prices for those journals increase every year, spokeswoman Shannon Cary said.

"If there's inflation and you get a flat budget, which on a good year we're getting a flat budget, you still have to cut," Cary said.

Most research at the university is done by searching journals online but some departments, such as history and humanities, still use books, Cary said. The libraries' spending is a balance between journal subscriptions and one-time book purchases, she said.

"The bulk of our budget is going toward these big journal packages. It's kind of like a cable package, where you get everything," Cary said. "So say you spend all of your budget on your cable, but you want to go see a movie. You can't go see the movie."

The wish list includes books for arts and humanities, medicine and health sciences, science and engineering, social sciences and business as well as a few special-collection books.

The list was compiled after subject specialists with the libraries contacted faculty at each school.

"By no means is this just a list of all of the books we need," said Anne Barker, head of research services at MU Libraries. "This is just the tip of the iceberg."

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