charging for replacement

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:51:58 -0700 (PDT)

Out here in the Athens of the West, campus stands behind the library in its
efforts to recoup fees from faculty. Lacking that kind of institutional
support, you can pretty much kiss it goodbye. The deal is: academic
libraries have a long tradition of serving as institutional punching
bags...as viewing themselves as "the handmaidens" (I've actually heard this
term used!) of faculty. Faculty have obligations to both the institution
and to colleagues and students...those obligations include acting as
responsible citizens of the academic city, as partners rather than prima
donnas. I see no reason whatsoever why the library should eat the cost of
expensive tapes. If a faculty person rented stuff at the local blockbuster
and fried the tape in the trunk of his/her car, what would they
say? "...but I hold an endowed chair in bioethics...?" "...but I'm fully
tenured...? " I don't think so.

So...

we bill for full replacement charges. Sometimes when I'm feeling
particularly grumpy, I throw in another 25 bucks processing charges (we
NEVER seem to think about tech services costs, do we?). We loose very
little stuff. The few instances in which we have lost tapes or discs,
we've recouped the repl cost with very little argument. I have also been
known to call up the departmental chair and threaten to simply charge the
replacement cost to the departmental fund ("...hey, Dean Schmirtz,...YOU
hired him!").

All a matter of attitude and institutional backbone...
Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
510-643-8566
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu