Former Bendigo TAFE librarian Narelle Stone was one of five library staff members made redundant in 2013, despite being named Victorian Librarian of the Year only months before.
Ms Stone, who worked at the library for 26 years, said she was shocked and upset by the way the process was handled. But she said she felt most pity for the students.
''Although it affects those who lost their jobs, the main people suffering are the students. They are slipping through the cracks because of the lack of funding,'' she said.
''With librarian staff cut back, the government really compromised what the library could offer students.''
The Australian Library and Information Association, which gave Ms Stone her award, described her as the library's ''lifeblood'', according to former colleagues.
The library redundancies were among 47 job losses announced by the TAFE in November.
Ms Stone said she hoped the government would see the wisdom in keeping TAFE education properly funded.
''I really hope … the government come to their senses and realise the value of education in our community.''