BY PETER ROBSON
NEWCASTLE On October 21, a rally of 300 students forced Newcastle University vice-chancellor Roger Holmes to commit to the full retention of resources and services at the Huxley Library.
A university administration proposal to have all the library's hard-copy materials removed to make way for an electronic "information commons" was opposed by staff and students because the areas of study that the library specialises in nursing, education and design are all taught in the same building as the library. The removal of the hard copies would leave students and staff with a half-hour round trip to borrow or use library services.
Holmes told the rally, "obviously the proposal cannot continue in its current form".
"This is a victory for many reasons", Newcastle University Students Association president Kylie Rooke told Green Left Weekly. "Firstly, and most obviously, the Huxley has been saved. But we've also shown the administration that they can't get away with this sort of thing. But the biggest thing is that students can see that they can win if they fight."
A student and staff committee has been established to look into ways that new electronic library resources could be established without the loss of hard-copy resources.
From Green Left Weekly, October 30, 2002.
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