SOAS Library – an Open Letter from SCOLMA

                                                                                                                  9th January 2019

 

Dear Baroness Amos,

Re: SOAS Library – Open Letter

I am writing on behalf of SCOLMA (the UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa) to express our deep concerns about the proposed cuts to SOAS Library.

SOAS Library holds one of the most important African Studies collections in the UK, widely used by its own students and academics and by researchers from around the world, including Africa. The proposed cuts will have an adverse effect on the ability of researchers to access the collections and on the Library’s ability to continue to acquire and process archives and publications. The loss of subject librarians in one of only five National Research Libraries is particularly to be deplored and the loss of frontline library staff will adversely impact on all library users. Given the proposed overall cuts to staff numbers and the additional work which will fall to remaining staff, we do not see how meaningful area specialist posts will continue to exist. We are also particularly concerned about the implied dependence on externally funded posts in the Archives and Special Collections department rather than on permanent staff with overall knowledge of the collections.

We urge you to reconsider the proposed cuts and to explore other options to maintain the library at current levels as one of the pre-eminent collections on Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy McCann

SCOLMA Chair on behalf of the Committee

lucy.mccann@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

 Copied: Dawn Wright, Subject Librarian (Africa), SOAS Library; Professor Ambreena Manji, ASAUK President;  savesoaslibrary@gmail.com; onepsconsultation@soas.ac.uk

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