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Students’ Association against proposed changes to library

Press Release – Auckland University Students’ Association is against the proposed changes to libraries at the University of Auckland.

Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) is deeply concerned by the University of Auckland’s proposal to close five libraries, and restructure library and learning services.

This proposal will not only close the Maori and Pasifika Archive, Music, Fine Arts, Architecture, Epsom and Tamaki libraries, but appears to be moving the University towards a system where all City libraries are merged into one centralised library. In the process, there will be a reduction in the number of specialised staff available to help students, a reduction in the number of student study spaces on campus, and the fragmentation and removal of special collections into off-campus storage.

For example, both the Fine Arts and Architecture libraries are the largest collections of their type in the Southern Hemisphere. In particular, the Elam library is highly valued among the wider Arts community and the University itself, who promotes this library as a “collection of national significance.” As the heart of the Elam Art School, the library is the only place to study within the school.

There has been no formal attempt to consult students. As it involves the loss of 45 jobs, we have been told that ‘it it University practice not to involve students in decisions like this’.

However, students are outraged by this proposal. Already, 2000 students have signed our petition, and a further 1000 students have made submissions against these changes.

We are holding a rally on the 30th April at 12pm, and are making a formal submission to the University.

We consider that this represents a worrying deprioritization of the Arts in University funding models. We are calling on the Government to change University funding models, so STEM isn’t prioritized at the expense of the Arts. We are also calling on the University to protect student study spaces, and show us they care about the Arts and our Education.

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