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Saturday, May 8, 2010

heart a librarian today

I've done something new for me - started a facebook protest group. It's called "Heart UC Library" and is really quite a polite protest, but nevertheless a protest. Unfortunately, when we set up the group, we couldn't find "People's Rebellion" under the group types available.

I am embarrassed to say that our university, the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, has proposed to "disestablish" the jobs held by 35 of our most qualified librarians, including interloans staff (without whom it would be impossible to do research), only replacing them with unqualified staff, and to "move away" from printed books into e-books alone. At least, that's what it sounds like. It's hard to tell because the university bureaucracy is trying to keep this very quiet, and hasn't released the details publicly.

It really is frightening that a university is attacking its own library in this way, the very heart of any university.

And if you are a student at my university, at any other NZ university, or from anywhere but just indignant at these proposals, please join our group. There is going to be a meeting on Monday with the Vice Chancellor to discuss how much more to make public, and he needs to know that we care about our library and will not let it just disappear from under our nose without batting an eyelid.

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