All Medical & Dental Students at Barts and The London SMD
United Kingdom

We, the senior SSLC, are gravely concerned about the imminent changes to the library service at West Smithfield (Barts library).

On 18th December at our Senior SSLC Meeting, Library Representatives laid out the catastrophic alterations to service at West Smithfield that will come into effect from January 2nd. This provided an effective notice period of 3 working days since term ends on 21st December.

We are shocked that no students have been involved in the decision making process and that no transparent consultation was undertaken to hear concerns, discuss alternatives and devise a coherent proposal that reflects the unique needs of medical/dental students, even in the age of austerity where university budgets are stretched.

We believe the new opening hours effectively close the library to many medical/dental students. Those on clinical placement are expected to attend these rotations during normal working hours, Monday to Friday. In addition, pre-clinical medical/dental students often have a heavy lecture burden, restricting self-study to evenings and weekends. We are especially concerned that students, residing in Dawson Hall will be particularly affected. In addition, many final year medical students choose to live in Dawson Hall, at least in part due to the proximity of the library - these students have final exams in a matter of weeks and will be disproportionately affected by the changes.

It is also unclear why lending facilities will be lost as this service predominantly operates through the automated self-service system.

A lack of clarity exists regarding the redistribution of textbooks but we would not support textbooks being redeployed to the library at mile end – a facility used only rarely by medical/dental students.

We believe this short sighted plan may have far reaching implications – not least in the annual National Student Survey (NSS). By effectively ensuring no medical students can use the library, user numbers will drop and the long term viability of this beautiful part of our medical & dental school heritage may be called into question.

We do not wish to see this happen.

The restriction of library service, should have no place in an institution that prides itself on the recent elevation to Russell Group membership, especially when considered hand in hand with the low per-student book spend at our institution. We bring this petition and ask our fellow medical/dental students to sign, calling urgently for these plans to be halted to allow a period of consultation with students and a full and open consideration of alternatives.

We pledge to do all in our power, using this petition as support, to take this issue to the university and lobby for a better option.

Thank you for your support,

Kerrie Wilson and Aaron Braddy
Senior SSLC Student Co-Chairs

We, the undersigned, call on Queen Mary University of London to halt their above outlined changes to the provision of library services at the West Smithfield Library until there is a proper consultation with students and a more agreeable outcome for us!

The STOP THE CLOSURE OF BART'S LIBRARY! petition to All Medical & Dental Students at Barts and The London SMD was written by Aaron Braddy and is in the category Education at GoPetition.