The empire strikes back… ANU library plan published

creative_canberran 9 May 2011 3

The hot air is still blowing over the library merger at ANU. Two articles now in the Canberra TImes about it, the latest with an honours student giving the very credible argument that he found a “sh**ty old” book not used in a decade that inspired an assignment so libraries should remain as is.

The ANU VC meanwhile has published a plan outlining what is to occur. The key points are:

  1. The relocation and installation of new shelves will actually create surplus of space (176 linear meters) for both collections. Only once this is filled up in time will materials be moved to Hume.
  2. The two collections will share free standing shelf and compactus space with frequently used materials located on the shelves up front. All of it will be open to browsing by users.
  3. All existing tables and the “pit” will be retained so no study space lost though more tightly packed.
  4. In the short term, computers in the library will reduce from 8 to 6. However, labs with more computers are nearby and more computers will be part of the redevelopment of the old library space.
  5. The closure will save over $200,000 a year which the ANU will invest directly back on access and collections management.
  6. No staff will lose their jobs. All specialist roles will remain and more general roles no longer needed will not be refilled once staff retire or leave.

Curiously, I received a personal invitation near the same time this was released from the protest organiser, the Arts Faculty Rep, to attend a meeting this Monday night discussing the formal submission being prepared by students responding to the plan… the pitfall I guess of being outspoken. She was at pains to impress on me that this is “more than economics” and I should come “listen to the point of view of students”.

I replied asking very simply what the point of contention on the part of student representatives is? What is the aim of the submission? I’d at least like some idea of the issues to be discussed ahead of the night.

….. I have yet to receive a reply after two days. Disappointing when the Head of the School of Arts replied to an email on the issue within 10mins on a Friday afternoon.

Still, if anyone want’s to hear the students point of view. Rock up to the Music School Cafe 6pm this Monday!

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3 Responses to The empire strikes back… ANU library plan published
creative_canberran creative_canberran 2:41 pm 19 May 11

UPDATE: Another “protest” held today, this time with a small rabble standing on the Art School roundabout shouting and clapping. Compared to the 300 who turned up last time, far fewer than 100 attended this time so the protest appears to be running out of puff.

The bigger problem though is the protest was called “Speak Out”. Why is this a problem? Because the Vice Chancellor has been waiting 3 weeks now for the written submission from students he actually requested. They haven’t written it yet and aren’t going to for a while yet. Instead, they’re shouting into thin air.

I would like to note that I have written to the VC a formal submission and confirmation came in that it is under consideration. The submission I put in raised serious concerns about the proposal but acknowledged the gains in efficiency that consolidation would offer. It suggested a range of measures to explore more sustainable options.
So I am by no means sitting on the sidelines throwing criticism out while not doing anything else.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 11:26 pm 09 May 11

EDIT: Given there is more than one Rep responsible for the Arts Faculty, I should clarify that the one referred to in the above article is the ANUSA Arts Faculty Rep Fleur Hawes.

Erg0 Erg0 2:20 pm 09 May 11

At least the students now know what it was they were protesting against.

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