Starved and constrained, MU Libraries turn to students for funding

The fee would start at $5 per credit hour and eventually increase to $15, creating nearly $13 million in new revenue for the libraries.
MU student Kelly Dobbs studies at Ellis Library on Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Columbia, Mo.

Power cords are strewn about the floor of the Grand Reading Room on the second floor of Ellis Library. These cords are a jury-rigged solution to the enduring problem of providing power to study stations throughout the library, said Matt Gaunt, director of advancement for MU Libraries.

“Things like that are commonplace for other libraries,” he said. “We’ve just fallen behind.”

MU Library System officials hope to address these inadequacies and more by asking for funds from students.

Recently, library officials proposed a $5 per credit hour student fee to the Missouri Students Association that would incrementally increase to $15 per credit hour over the next six years. The fee would fund improvements to the library including renovations, increased staffing, new services and 24/7 study space.

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