I must have done something very bad in a past life. 2004/2005 was undoubtedly the worst year of my life, and 2006/2007 promises
to be similar.
It's extremely disheartening to have devoted the past two years to making projections of our flood recovery needs and working
our butts off to get replacement documents and maps only to hear that because we haven't spent enough of our flood funds (through
no fault of our own), the University has decided not to ask the Legislature to roll over the money. This is from Sam Callejo,
the man who told us after the flood, "Just tell us what you need and we'll get it for you." We learned today that the plan
is to have us encumber as much as we can by June 30, 2007 and then present our needs beyond that to the University administration
in the hope that they'll set aside funds for us.
Well, we can all tell where this is going. Clearly, everyone in the University administration is tired of dealing with the
flood, and this is their way of cutting us off so they don't have to be bothered with it any more. Guess what? We, too, are
sick to death of dealing with the flood! I can think of dozens of projects I'd rather be working on, but I soldier on, as
do my colleagues, because we know that the materials are needed here in Hawaii if we are to call ourselves a research library.
It's not our nature to roll over and die, as our library administration seems to have done. They have soft-pedaled this development
and defended the University's actions. Instead of hearing that we're doing a good job with flood recovery, we just hear that
we need to be "realistic" -- i.e., we're living in a fantasy and need to snap out of it.
If there is a fantasy going on, it is my dream to have time to do research, publish, give presentations -- all of those things
that we faculty are expected to do -- instead of dealing with the flood all day, every day. Although it's tempting to do what
Karen predicted some will and just give up, I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet.
I learned yesterday from Thelma, our Head of Acquisitions, that the University Administration has decided not to ask the state
legislature to roll over unexpended flood appropriations. Instead, we have to try to encumber as much of our funding as possible
before it expires on June 30, 2007. I have not heard the details of this development, so I don't know for sure how it will
affect our temporary flood recovery personnel, our off-site storage, or anything else. It seems likely that the department
will have to shift its focus entirely to acquisitions, which means that little processing work will take place. Of course,
other departments will be deeply affected as well. We are attending a meeting on Friday where we hope to learn more.