Just $3 per credit hour beginning in fall 2019, only up to 12 credit hours (that’s $36 per semester at most). Students taking more than 12 credit hours will never pay on any credits over 12 hours.
The fee will go up every two years for a few years, but will top out at $10 a credit hour in 6 years, fall of 2025.
Fall 2019–Summer 2021: $3 per credit hour (up to 12 hours)
Fall 2021–Summer 2023: $5 per credit hour (up to 12 hours)
Fall 2023–Summer 2025: $7 per credit hour (up to 12 hours)
Fall 2025–ongoing: $10 per credit hour (up to 12 hours)
The fee is scheduled to increase so that students only pay for the improvements that will take place immediately, like longer hours and 24/7 chat; then, in the future the Libraries will continue to do more and more as the needs of UMKC students evolve.
With students! Student Government Association (SGA) contacted library staff to request information about changes students want to see at their libraries. The library presented cost estimates for different kinds of library improvements, and how much of a library fee students would need to pay for those changes. SGA senators sponsored a resolution to bring a library fee to a student body vote. SGA voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, and then then voted unanimously to approve referendum language describing how the library fee appeared on the ballot during SGA elections in March 2019. All UMKC students were eligible to vote on the library fee referendum March 18-22, 2019. 1,414 students voted and 72% voted in favor of the library fee.
A library fee has a high return on investment because when each student pays a little bit, the library can provide A LOT of resources and services to everyone. Library hours, services, articles, or books funded by fee revenue will pay for themselves quickly as students use them.
A full time student paying $36 a semester will see that the fee pays for itself if they:
1. Request just one article via InterLibrary Loan (ILL).
The Libraries’ average cost for an ILL article is $36.81. This service is at risk for cuts because of budget cuts combined with rapid growth in how much students use the service.
2. Stay past 11 p.m. seven times.
Winstead’s is the closest late night spot with wifi, McDonald's is next closest. You’ll probably spend $5 to study there but if they library has longer hours with a fee, staying late pays for itself after seven visits.
3. Access two articles.
Most of what students find in Canvas or on the Libraries' website is paid for by the Libraries, even if it looks free. Even though the Libraries’ cost for articles is pretty low because of buying in bulk, without the Libraries students would spend between $30 and $60 for a single article.
4. Check out one book or eBook from the library website.
A really cheap academic book is about $35, and they just go up from there. With a library fee the Libraries will be able buy an increased number of books and resources to meet student needs. Plus, the Libraries can buy in bulk, which saves students money.
5. Meet with a librarian for research help.
Personalized consultation services like the ones students get from a librarian run from $50-$150 an hour!
6. Take one class using a library-supported affordable textbook option.
Average savings is over $90 per course! When UMKC instructors use free or low-cost textbook options, the Libraries provide some of the books, and also help faculty switch to affordable or freely available textbook options for their classes.
Prior to Fall 2019, UMKC did not have a library fee at all, and student tuition money doesn’t go to the library. The library gets a General Resource Allocation budget from the university, but the library’s budget has remained flat or been reduced every year for the past 10 years. This has meant that the library has not even been able to keep purchasing all the resources (books, articles, databases, etc.) that students need, and also can’t provide all the services students want and need.
What kinds of services do students want? The library has been collecting feedback directly from students through surveys, research, focus groups and more. The most popular request? Longer library hours!
The summary of the library's research and data collection is that UMKC students need:
A place to study on campus that is safe, secure, and open later than any of the current options
Individualized assistance with library resources and research strategies
Reliable, 24/7 access from anywhere to online resources
Continued access to subscription resources the library pays for (those that we currently have are subject to cuts)
Emerging technologies and software that students in many disciplines need, but are often only available to students in certain departments
Experience with technology, and information and digital literacy skills that employers want in future employees
Varied and accommodating study space and furniture
Without revenue from a Library Fee, the UMKC Libraries would not be able to improve the library spaces, resources, or technology to keep up with what UMKC students need. Instead, the Libraries would strive to maintain existing services and resources, but those are subject to budget cuts every year.
The Libraries have lots of ways of collecting information from and about UMKC students. We will continue to use institutional research, survey students, conduct focus groups, take direct feedback and comments, and do user experience research projects, but we also want to develop creative ways to hear directly from students. Feel free to submit your ideas to library.umkc.edu/suggestions for now!
Following the positive student vote in March 2019 and approval by the UM System Board of Curators, the fee goes into effect for Fall 2019.
We will have as many of the changes as possible in place for the first semester students pay the fee, to ensure that students directly benefit from any fees they pay while UMKC students. The first year you'll see primarily longer hours, 24/7 chat, and better security - as the fee increases, we get more information, and there is time to plan and implement, you'll start to see more changes to spaces and services.
Everyone at UMKC uses the library, even if they don’t realize it because they’re using online information sources where the library is invisible.
Improvements at the library would benefit undergraduate, graduate, and professional students; in every degree program; who use the Libraries at any campus location or online; regardless of their personal socioeconomic status or access to technology.
Health Sciences Library in the School of Medicine building, and Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center have security cameras, appropriate exterior lighting, trained and qualified staff working all shifts, and established emergency procedures. Both Libraries are also monitored by the UMKC campus police.
Campus and Parking Security
Patrols: UMKC Police patrol both the Volker and Health Sciences District campuses during all of the Libraries' open hours. UMKC faculty, staff, and students can contact the campus police by calling 816-235-1515 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Request an escort: If you feel unsafe leaving the library - or any other building on campus - you can call campus police at 816-235-1515 to request an escort to your car or residence hall.
Download the Rave Guardian app: UMKC supports the Rave Guardian app for iPhone and Android, which can be used as a safety timer, to message friends, or to contact safety officials in an emergency.