Campaign to oppose library closure


By Kathy Pinkus
and Kamala Emanuel

HOBART — The Tasmanian University administration has announced plans to "amalgamate" two libraries on the Sandy Bay campus during mid-semester break.

The Biomed Library will be closed and materials transferred to the Scitech Library. This will involve significant job losses, loss of service and a shortage of study space. Some materials would be less accessible. The plan rolls back a successful campaign last year to block the amalgamation of the Biomed, Scitech and Morris Miller Arts libraries on campus.

The Academic Senate criticised the lack of consultation on the plan and called for a discussion paper on the proposal from the pro vice-chancellor for information services at its June 26 meeting.

According to SRC president Gilbert Astorga, the vice-chancellor has made it clear that the amalgamation will go ahead regardless of the senate's position.

About 80 students attended an SRC-organised general meeting on the amalgamation and the Fight the Closure of the Biomed Library Committee met on May 14 to plan the campaign. A "slumber party" against the closure will be held in the Union Activities Centre on May 20.

Resistance Club and Education Collective member Mathew Munro told Green Left Weekly the decision to amalgamate the libraries "shows how crucial it is to fight federal education funding cuts. The government's cuts are behind the university's plan to cut library staff and services.

"To stop this amalgamation, we need to link up to the broader campaign opposing cuts to public education funding and demand that the VC refuses to implement them, otherwise we'll just end up constrained by the administration's 'budget needs'."