Old College library protest

This notice, on the doors of the Library, signal its closure

DESPITE much hype on the Facebook event, the protest against the closure of the Old College Library only managed to attract around 20 people, at its height, despite having 76 confirmed attendees on the group.  In fact, at 1200, when the protest was scheduled to start, there were only 5 students (approximately) milling around inside the Old College.To begin with there was a group of students outside, on the Seafront side chanting “No ifs, No Buts, bring us back our books” Only one protester had a placard, which read “Achub Llyfrgell yr hen Goleg” This was met with an outburst by a student working inside the Old College,  presumably angry at the noise.

The protest then moved inside to talk with Pro Vice Chancellor Rebecca Davies. She took a series of questions from protestors and took over 45 minutes of her time to answer them.

We can’t staff a library when we haven’t got the level of borrowing use       Rebecca Davies

She pointed out that ” we can’t put bookstock back”; the decision taken to move collections out of Old College is irreversible. If stock was to be moved back, cuts would have to be made elsewhere. She went on to say that, using cold, hard statistics, usage figures for the Old College are much lower than many want to believe, once you take away the stats for PGCE students based at the University. She also suggested that much of the process concerning moving everything up onto the Penglais Campus is centered around the Estates department “grand plan” for a single campus. The idea of having information studies students manning a reopened library, put forward during the discussion by a student, was rejected by Davies as unworkable.

Many protesters were angry at both the decision taken by the University concerning the Library and the way this was communicated to students.

Shortly after Rebecca Davies left the protesters, to attend a meeting, the protest group slowly dissipated, much earlier than the planned time of 1500

The new study space, which replaces the library, is now open until 2130 each evening.