Prof Stephen Walker Executive Dean of Science, UQ

During the recent amalgamation of the Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences and Engineering Libraries at the University of Queensland, to make space for a 24/7 student computing facility, both books and journal holdings of the science collections were severely culled.

Concerns regarding the collections to be discarded, and how it was to be done, were raised by academics, technical staff, and myself on behalf of an interested student group. Those staff I have spoken with, and I, were assured that all books to be 'discarded' would be duplicates of old textbooks, journals accessible electronically, "superseded editions, non-scholarly material, out-of-date dictionaries and encyclopaedias, and so on."

With regards to the materials discarded, I was informed, "Had it been of lasting worth, it would not have been discarded."

I have now learned "Despite assurances that they would only discard items that were available as electronic resources, 88 % of what they threw out amongst QE journals are not available electronically and almost none of them have holdings elsewhere in Australia" and that "library staff have discarded the majority of palaeontology and geology literature" despite the fact that "we were told point blank that palaeontology was done at UQ".

These and similar comments and actions are of great concern to staff, students and alumni of this faculty, and the greater body of the University.

We, the undersigned, wish to express our disappointment with the handling and execution of the recent changes in the Science libraries at the University of Queensland. The lack of consultation, disregard for student, staff and academic concerns when raised, and destruction of important and irreplaceable learning resources is not befitting an educational institution of UQ's standing.

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