Ack, the budget!

Okay, so after 2 hours of running around and learning circ a la trial by fire method, I sit down to read about the terrible state of community college databases. As previously noted, I am well aware of the financial shortfall and how much that shortfall is for the community college budget in California. However, the most recent notice, regarding databases, shocked me by stating that, in short, we may not have ANY!!!! As is the norm in librariana, another association, the Council of Chief Librarians, discusses the issues and problems facing librarians, albeit those of the community college variety in California. Luckily, I seem to meet all of those criteria (ok, maybe not a chief, but someday…) so its latest notice about the database funding applies. Unlike the UCs or the Cal States, the community colleges aren’t working with more than a handful or two of databases for our very varied population. Now, we are talking about none, nada, zip, zilch, niente, and any other word indicating a complete absence. How are we supposed to serve online students? Telecourse students? Regular, everyday students that cringe at the thought of looking for a book on the shelf, let alone dusting off some microform? Given hidden budget pockets here and there, we may still have one database available, but what about the Nursing students who need medical articles or the general population needing information on a variety of topics from scholarly sources?  Given my own, limited realm of power in adjusting the budget one way or another, I’m wondering what ideas you may have that could help us better assist our students in this period of info scarcity.  Thoughts? *Free* web content recommendations?

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