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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 1. 28 February 1972

Library Hours to Remain the Same

Library Hours to Remain the Same

The University administration has capitulated to student demands regarding the proposed reduction of library hours and services.

An unscheduled meeting of the Vice-chancellor and Deans' committee on Monday 21st February agreed to increase the library grant and the Professorial Board will be asked to reverse its earlier decision allowing a reduction of library hours.

This decision was forced on the University administration by a Student's Association declaration advising student's to observe library hours as they were formerly. The background to these proposed restrictions is the financial stringency facing all sections of the University. This financial position is partly the result of inflation partly of myopic long-term planning, and partly of gutless University administration.

The library costing millions of dollars to set up was to have its use restricted for the sake of a few thousands. During budgeting last year the library made it clear to the administration, that with increased numbers of students using the library for longer periods more staff and services would have to be put on if the library was to stay open for the same hours as formerly. It is these staff hours that will cost the extra money.

The University administration has guaranteed that enough money will be provided to keep the library open as usual. Mr Sage, the librarian, stated that this figure was in the region of $7½,000.

It would seem that even now the administration is still hardly aware of the disastrous effects that a reduction in library services could have had. For an example, on Friday night the library was to have closed. On the Library's own count an average of 260 people were using the Main Library on Friday night. In 1972 these 260 would have to find somewhere else with access to the right books and quietness, or overcrowd the library at other peak usage times.

Perhaps the severest blow would have been the lack of the Closed Reserve service. It is over used now and despite the small space they have, understaffed.

A reduction of this service especially on Sunday would double the pressure on it at other peak usage times, and make queue waiting as long a task as reading a limited time book.