UCD Students’ Union have confirmed that they will campaign to see the return of Sunday opening hours in the James Joyce library. The campaign is in response to the plans by the university to close the library for the first seven weeks of the semester due to budgetary cutbacks.
A statement released online by the Students’ Union criticized the move by university authorities to end the library’s 7-day service. The library has been open every day of the week since a successful campaign by the SU for Sunday opening hours in the 2010/2011 academic year.
Shane Comer, treat the UCDSU Education Officer, and believes that the shortening of library hours is a step in the wrong direction for UCD. He stated, “The overall reduction in funding of the library is the primary issue and this is affecting everything from book buying budgets to the opening hours. The university needs to realise that in order to produce world-class graduates and to climb back into the top 100 universities in the world, a seven-day library is paramount.” Comer also declared, “This is an extremely short sighted decision. The Students’ Union acknowledges how important a resource the Library is to students and we will campaign to see the return of Sunday opening hours.”
The University authorities have stated that the lack of students who use the library on Sundays is the main reason why the library hours have been cut. This reasoning has been criticized by the SU who have pointed out that Hugh Brady envisioned a “24 hour campus” when he assumed office in 2004. The reduction of library hours is also contrary to what is laid out in the UCD Library Strategic Plan 2010-2014, where the plan states to “Develop and implement policies and practices that provide for optimal library opening hours.”
The budget of the James Joyce library has been cut by €625,000 since 2010 and will receive another 5% cut this year.
– Thomas Cullen