Having heard details of consultations held with Humanities colleagues, librarians, and students, the Curators of the University Libraries have endorsed the proposal to transfer the collections, services and staff of the History Faculty Library (HFL) to new locations in the Radcliffe Camera and the Gladstone Link (the revised proposal (Option C), available as a PDF).
Bodley's Librarian has made a number of assurances regarding the long-term strategy of Humanities Libraries, financial settlement, staffing and identity of the HFL. The proposed move reflects the Bodleian's strategy to provide enhanced interdisciplinary services at fewer service points. The principal benefits of the move arise from the savings on space charges: for Humanities, this means Sunday opening of the Camera and the Old Bodleian; for History, an increase in the annual acquisitions budget.
In response to specific requests from students, there will be a trial of 'priority seating' for History Finalists, lockers, desks where laptops may be chained. The gold stickers on HFL books will remain, and the name 'History Faculty Library' will also remain.
There is still ongoing consultation to finalise particular details of the move.
About the proposal
The proposal to transfer the existing services and collections of the History Faculty Library to the Radcliffe Camera in Long Vacation 2012 will improve:
Your time: 24 extra hours per week, and all day Saturday and Sunday opening. > more
Your convenience: Access on a single site to all history collections. > more
Your books, journals and databases: More funding for books, journals, and databases.
Your space: More desks and varied spaces > more
Your library support team: Better and more specialist support for historians offered by re-grouped HFL staff into the History Information Services Team
The proposal has to be seen in the context of the following:
• agreed consolidation of Humanities libraries into fewer sites as a long-term strategic aim;
• continuing aspirations for service improvement set against pressure on finances;
• the likely delay in development of the main Humanities facility at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter for some years;
• the threat of extremely disruptive building works when a lift is installed in the Old Indian Institute (OII) building in 2012/13 and associated significant and permanent loss of shelf, reader and support space;
• ability to fully fund the move and improvements to working environments.