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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 3. 1965.

No Library No Reasons

page 4

No Library No Reasons

For over two years now a multistorey building has grown in our midst. From the start, students have wondered when it would be completed. They are still wondering. It was said that it would be open now. It now appears doubtful that students will see the backs of the workmen before finals.

What of the library—expected to be ready for use at the start of the first term? Returning students were greeted with an official statement that the library would not be ready for another two weeks, and would open about the end of March. As this issue went to press, Mr. Miller, the university librarian, admitted that he doubted whether it would be open by then.

The rumour that the University started a week later than usual because the library was not ready is, however, apparently incorrect.

Apparently, it is the completion of the first floor that is holding things up. This is the service floor—it is from here that the books are issued and the library controlled. Until this is finished the library cannot operate.

The bulk of books have been moved and shelved. Mr. Miller said this had been done under great difficulty as none of the lifts was then working and all the books had to be carried by hand.

Compared with the facilities that have been available in past years, however, the new library will be well worth waiting for. All the books will be readily available, which they have not been in the past. The seating capacity will be greatly increased. Conditions will be more conducive to study—unless the view proves irresistible. Staff facilities will be more pleasant.

The new building will cost about £1,000,000. Some students question whether it has all been spent wisely, or whether some expenditure has been kept down through false economy. The quality of the floor coverings and the efficiency of the heating and ventilating installations have been questioned— although they have yet to be tested in actual use.

Salient attempted to find out exactly why the library building is overdue. Both contractors and architects refused to make any statement, and one can only speculate. Wilkins and Davies, the contractors, have a reputation of completing contracts on time. Why not in this case? Reasons could include hold-ups in obtaining materials, long periods of bad weather, shortage of labour technical difficulties, bad liaison between the parties concerned.

Students would be interested to know why they must start the year without a library. One student stated that his first essay in a Stage III subject was due to be handed in the day before the library is nominally due to open.

It may be hoped that such an essay will have no effect upon the granting of terms.