cure serif;”>The decision taken by the James Joyce Library not to open on Sundays until November 11th has been met with anger and disappointment from UCD students. UCD Students’ Union have stated that they are outraged by the news and will not take the library’s decision lightly.
The library was originally meant to be closed on Sundays only for the first seven weeks of term, but the decision has now been made not to open until week nine of the current semester. The library has told the Students’ Union that the five weeks that the library would be open on Sundays included revision week and the two weeks of exams.
Education Officer Shane Comer told the College Tribune that the reason used by the library is false and was never mentioned in any of the meetings that he and SU President Rachel Breslin had attended. Comer added “This is not true, this is absolutely false and I will back that to the hills, as will Rachel. I’m extremely disappointed, angry and I felt lied to.”
The SU have also stated in a press release that they only found out about the library’s decision through informal sources and that many students would have only discovered that the library was still closed by showing up to locked doors on Sunday. The SU branded the decision as not only “counter-productive” but said that it also showed dishonesty towards students in the way the news was only discovered through informal means.
The lack of study facilities in UCD on Sundays has forced students to take action against the library. In addition to a protest that was held by students on the 18th October, the SU organised a campus wide demonstration against the library last Thursday. The demonstration involved 600 chairs being placed in lines leading down the concourse towards the James Joyce Library and the Tierney Building. Flyers were handed out and petitions were signed by students in support of the protest.
Shane Comer told the Tribune that he was extremely pleased with how the demonstration went. “A lot of students were talking about it. I also got feedback from academics and they thought it was a brilliant idea… it really got the issue out there” Comer also said he believed it caught the attention of the library authorities, and added that “from the dates they put up on their facebook page, they have brought that back a week, which shows progress. They also said talks about Sunday opening in Semester 2 are on-going which is true, and which I am involved in.”
When asked whether there are any futures plans in the library campaign, Comer confirmed that this was only the first step and that there are more demonstrations that will highlight what a major issue this is to people. He also added “I am not taking this lying down and I will not allow this to happen. I am aiming for a twelve week Sunday library in Semester 2, and that’s my ultimate goal.”
By Thomas Cullen