Part of USF but Autonomous

In the April 1 edition of the student newspaper The Crow’s Nest an article by staff columnist Frank Kurtz addressed the issue of USF System membership and the benefits.

While the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library reaps numerous benefits from USFSP membership in the USF System, we are an autonomous library reporting to the USFSP Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Norine Noonan. The Poynter Library has no reporting relationship to USF Tampa, except through our Regional Chancellor who reports to the President. Mr. Kurtz incorrectly stated that if the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) were to leave the USF System “all of the volumes in the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library would have to be returned to the main campus. So would the desks and chairs and computers.” This is not the case. The books, furniture, and computers have been purchased by funds specifically allocated to the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library, either through private donations or through USFSP budget allocations. They are the property of USFSP and the autonomous Poynter Library.

However, one of the greatest benefits that we derive from USFSP’s membership in the USF System is the access to over a million electronic resources that President Genshaft has declared to be System resources. Through agreements reached between the libraries of the USF member institutions, we pay a share of the cost of licensing and providing access to these resources. Our share of the costs is determined based roughly on the numbers of students who attend USFSP, along with the academic courses and programs that USFSP offers. USF Tampa shoulders the labor costs associated with acquiring and making these resources available and is also currently susidizing the costs of access to electronic books. Were we to try to “go it alone,” the Poynter Library could never afford to provide access to the same set of electronic resources. We are fortunate that USF St. Petersburg is part of the USF System and we would not want it to be otherwise. But we wouldn’t lose our books, furniture and computers if USFSP withdrew from the USF System.

If you want to know more about the the benefits of USF System membership regarding electronic resources, I encourage you to read the Library’s report  at


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