Archive for April, 2012

UCLA Library Acquires Papers of Justice for Janitors

Friday, April 20th, 2012

The UCLA Library has acquired the historical records of the Justice for Janitors campaign in Los Angeles, documenting the activities of this dynamic labor organization with deep links to the city’s working-class immigrant and African American communities.

Donated by Services Employees International Union United Service Workers West, the records document the movement’s development of innovative organizing and research strategies, demographic changes in the building-service workforce, and the transformation of labor union policies toward immigrant workers.

The Justice for Janitors collection includes business records, correspondence, educational and training materials, publications, and an extensive collection of photos, among other content. Most of the materials date from 1985–2000, with a few items dating back to the 1940s. The collection will be housed, preserved and available for research in UCLA Library Special Collections in the Charles E. Young Research Library.

We are honored to accept this important collection marking a significant moment in labor history. Together with our extensive collections documenting aspects of educational, political and social history in Southern California, its contents will enable students, faculty and scholars to more fully explore industrial relations and labor activism throughout the region.

Starting with a shrinking base of downtown building-service workers in the late 1980s, Justice for Janitors had grown into a powerful city-wide organization by the early 2000s. Combining street actions with industry research, the campaign pioneered a new approach to gaining collective bargaining rights for low-wage workers. A successful city-wide strike in 2000 drew the support of many Los Angeles community and political leaders, including Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony.

“The Justice for Janitors records will be an outstanding resource for scholars and the public,” said Tobias Higbie, an associate professor of history and associate director of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. “As a key part of the revival of labor unions in Los Angeles, the janitors have been a model for many other community organizations and unions. Along with oral histories of activists and staff, the collection will help us understand an important chapter in Los Angeles’ recent past.”

The collection came to UCLA through a collaboration between SEIU United Service Workers West and the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment to document the history of Justice for Janitors and its context. UCLA graduate and undergraduate students in labor and workplace studies, as well as the Chicano studies and history departments, contributed to the effort, along with the UCLA Center for Oral History Research and UCLA Library Special Collections. A selection of photographs and documents from the collection is available online at


Preserving UCLA’s Fiscal and Academic Strength

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost recently sent this update to the Deans.  I am sharing it here as it well states the situation that faces UCLA and the UCLA Library as well.  You will note that in a number of areas mentioned, we have taken action within the Library to address this challenge.   As we go forward, we will continue to work along with the campus to address these issues.

Gary E. Strong, University Librarian

To: Faculty, Deans, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, Chief Administrative Officers, Directors:

I am writing to update you on our response to California’s unprecedented budget crisis and its impact on our campus. Over the past decade, state support for the University of California has dropped by more than 50 percent. In the past year alone, state funds for UCLA were cut from $470 million to $340 million and, despite uncertainty about the future budget, we expect further cuts. Tuition increases have not fully replaced the loss of state monies. On top of this, UCLA faces unfunded mandatory cost increases, primarily due to pension contributions but also faculty merits and increases resulting from system-wide collective bargaining agreements.

We are managing our budget within a changed policy environment. A new “funding streams” model that has been implemented by the UC Office of the President (UCOP) has two key components. First, campuses can now keep all non-state revenues they generate, such as tuition and overhead from grants. Tempering this good news is a second aspect of the model: Campuses must pay a tax (1.6 percent of the prior year’s expenditures) in order to support UCOP’s operations and initiatives. In our planning, we must keep in mind that most restricted funds, such as extramural grants and endowment funds, cannot be directly taxed or cut to achieve our budget targets.

On February 27, 2012, Chancellor Block and I met with UCLA administrative and Academic Senate leadership to discuss how UCLA will address our budget situation in this new context. If we fail to act, our general fund—the major source of funding for our academic programs—risks falling into deficit. Our highest priorities are preserving UCLA’s academic quality and offering excellence in graduate and undergraduate education. I will work closely with the deans and the Senate—who will in turn work with department chairs and faculty—toward these goals.

We are pursuing a four-part strategy to ensure our fiscal and academic strength.

First, we must increase non-state revenue. Enrollment of nonresident undergraduate students is critically important because nonresident tuition helps cover the costs of educating all students. Self-supporting programs, professional school differential fees, and Summer Sessions revenue sharing are other important sources of funds. Selective conversion of some professional degree programs to self-supporting status will help free up funds for our core academic programs and avoid deeper cuts to undergraduate education. Fundraising also plays a key role in this effort.

Second, we are striving to deliver our academic programs more efficiently. We have slowed faculty hiring and reduced the requirements for many majors. I ask you now to continue reviewing requirements for majors and to consider cutting small courses and reducing the number of majors, so that we can focus our resources more effectively.

Third, we are continuing to reduce administrative costs while increasing efficiency. Units such as research administration, the graduate division, and information technology services have undergone major restructuring. Across the campus, hiring has slowed, and units have addressed budget challenges through attrition, retirements, leaving open positions unfilled for a longer period of time, and organizational changes. We have reduced purchasing, energy and transactional costs.

Fourth, we are engaging in systemwide partnerships to obtain access to new tools and systems. UCLA will be an early implementer of a new UC payroll and human resources system (UCPath), expected to be in operation by July 2013, which will eventually lead to long-term savings in both staffing and operational costs.

Our leadership meeting began and ended with the reaffirmation of our commitment to academic excellence. We must, and we will, preserve the quality of our academic programs, act aggressively to retain our faculty, hire faculty in high-priority areas and compete effectively for the finest graduate students. We will also continue to offer an undergraduate education and student experience that is second to none.

UCLA’s superb faculty and staff are among our greatest strengths. You are the reason that more students apply to UCLA than to any other university, that we receive over $1 billion per year in extramural funding and that we rank among the top research universities in the world. Thank you for your dedication to our students and our community.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

UCLA VirtualTour Spotlights the UCLA Library

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The new virtual tour of UCLA for prospective studies includes two segments on “favorite places to study.”  The first features the Charles E. Young Research Library and can be found at

The second features the Powell (College) Library and can be found at


Biomedical Library featured in YouTube Video on Snapshot Day

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The UCLA gathers various statistics four days a year to give us a “snapshot” of how the libraries on the campus are used. Following is a link to the Biomedical Library video recently done for UCLA Library Snapshot Day in March 2012:

The new south campus student center was liberally used as a backdrop for interviews!


UCLA Library Partners with CLIR on New Data Curation Fellowships

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The UCLA Library is partnering with the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) on a new data curation fellowship program.  Funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the program will provide recent PhDs with professional development, education, and training opportunities in data curation for the natural and social sciences.

An expansion of CLIR’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Academic Libraries, which the UCLA Library has participated in for a number of years, this new fellowship is designed to develop highly skilled, knowledgeable specialists through during two-year postdoctoral fellowships. The aim is to create scholarly practitioners who understand not only the nature and processes of their own disciplines but also how research data is organized, transmitted, and manipulated. Other partner institutions are Indiana University, Lehigh University, McMaster University, Purdue University, and the University of Michigan.

Further information and position descriptions are available at Applicants must have received a PhD in a discipline no more than five years before applying (i.e., after April 1, 2007). All work toward the degree, including dissertation defense and final dissertation editing, must be completed before starting the fellowship. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, but no later than June 30, 2012.