SECOND semester opening hours of the James Joyce Library are in question following a decision to not to
reduce first semester opening hours, after the library was asked to make a twelve per cent cutback this academic year.
Acknowledging that there are “rumours and speculation” among staff that the library opening hours will be cut in the second semester, Students’ Union (SU) Education Officer, Paul Lynam stressed that “nothing is set in stone. I don’t think any decision has been made. I certainly would not be voting in favour of it.”
Mr Lynam argued that UCD currently boasts longer library opening hours than any other Irish university and has criticised talk of library cutbacks. “The library is not just a service provider. It should be viewed as a core part of academic life in UCD. We should have pride in that, as it stands, UCD has the longest library opening hours in the country and I will try and defend that.”
Commenting on his dissatisfaction with the indecision on the second semester opening hours, Mr Lynam added “Even if they were confirmed I wouldn’t be content. I want to see library opening hours increased. I am never content, we have to always push forward”.
In addition to the uncertainty over opening hours, no new books will be obtained by the James Joyce Library this year as a result of the required twelve per cent cuts, an issue that Mr Lynam feels is unacceptable for students. “This would have a huge negative impact on evening students and part time students, rendering the library inaccessible”.
However, small improvements have been made in the library including space for more desks following the removal of journals into storage. Mr Lynam is also confident that there is a possibility of securing more plugs for laptop users.
Confident that no decision regarding a reduction on opening hours will be finalised without student consultation, Mr Lynam believes that he will “be consulted about drastic changes that are to be introduced, that will have a negative affect on students”.
The decision to reduce spending on the library was taken in an attempt to reduce UCD’s deficit, which stood at €15 million in the past academic year.