Oxford row at Bodleian's open book policy
Plans are being discussed to allow students to borrow books from the Bodleian for the first time, and the very idea has caused a stir amongst academics and students. The changes are being proposed as the History Faculty Library moves into the Bodleian this summer, and the university is considering the merger as a vehicle to alter the centuries-old regulations on lending. Dr William Poole, a tutor in English and Fellow at New College, said: 'First the Bodleian managers mean to shut down the History Faculty Library. That's bad enough. But now the Bodleian proposes to become a lending library. The consequences to students are dire. It is worth asking how we propose to charge £9,000 a year when we'll just lend out books to whoever, so that students can't read what they have been invited to read.'
Jim O'Connell, vice president of the Oxford University Students' Union, responded: 'The History Faculty Library is not being shut down. It is being moved. Dr Poole's scaremongering about lending is pure fiction. There is absolutely no prospect of books being lent to 'whoever' and neither the Curators nor the Librarian have any intention of this happening.'
A spokesman for the Bodleian said that the Bodleian Libraries 'will be consulting with the University over the existing arrangements for lending and are encouraging debate and discussion on this issue, as part of their normal review of policies'.
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