In 2002-2003, the University of Hong Kong Library had a Library Resources Fund of $75.9 million, all from the one-line budget provided from the UGC Block Grant. Since then,
prices of books, journals, and electronic resources have risen steadily. If increased every year by 5 percent to allow for inflation, for 2012-2013 the figure should be
In 2012-2013, the total Library Resources Fund was just under three-quarters of this figure, approximately $91.4 million. Only 86 percent (approximately $76 million) came
from the UGC block grant. The remainder came from the Library’s own Supplementary Funds and Endowment Funds, which are now virtually exhausted.
In 2002-2003, the Library received just over 7 percent of the total government subvention to HKU.
In 2011-2012, the Library received less than 5 percent of the total government subvention to HKU.While overall staff and student numbers at HKU have been rising, creating steadily increasing demand for Library services, the number of Library staff (FTE) has fallen from 242 in 2002-2003 to 197 in 2011-2012, a decrease of 18.5 percent.
The signatories below feel great concern over the steady shrinking of Library funding at the University of Hong Kong. They therefore request the University of Hong Kong
administration to reverse the trends of the past ten years. This will require:
(a) An immediate and continuing increase in Library budgets, to restore real spending on the Library at the very least to the levels of one decade ago, suitably adjusted for
the increase in numbers of academics and students .
(b) A major one-off infusion of funds, to repair the damage a decade of neglect has inflicted on Library collections.
(c) The aggressive exploration and utilization of outside sources of funding and donations as a means of improving Library budgets.
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