The University of Auckland Libraries Review and Proposals

The University of Auckland intends to close the Fine Arts Library, along with two other Creative Arts and Industries (CAI) Libraries. If this plan goes ahead, the Fine Arts collection will be incorporated into the General Library. The “CAI Libraries Review”, found here, argues that the library (along with the Architecture and Music libraries) is no longer fit for purpose in terms of space, that user numbers are declining, and that it would not be cost-effective to refurbish the space. The review notes that students would feel a sense of loss if the library was moved – but argues that this “is not a major problem”.

We would like the University to know that this is, in fact, “a major problem.” Besides having many methodological flaws, this review disregards that the Fine Arts Library is the most valuable resource for communal learning within Elam. The library provides students, staff, and the wider arts community, with immediate access to the largest collection of Fine Arts resources in the Southern Hemisphere.
Elam is a school that emphasises community, critical engagement, and reference to visual resources as essential components of developing studio practice. Elam must retain its library to allow for these. The University has failed to recognise the tremendous value of the Fine Arts Library as specific to the school of Fine Arts, and has failed to meaningfully consult with students and staff during the creation of this review.


University of Auckland review documents:

Long form analysis of the proposal: Breakdown of the Proposal

Review of Creative Arts and Industries (CAI) Libraries

Libraries and Learning Services Consultation Document

Libraries and Learning Services Vision and Strategy


5 thoughts on “The University of Auckland Libraries Review and Proposals

  1. I think that closing the Fine Arts Library would be short-sighted and a major loss to Elam and the Art History department. Students would be less likely to choose the University of Auckland to study art and art history without a stand-alone library specialising in their field.

  2. As a student, I lived in the library – a place of discovery about art, design, history, and artists. It was, and remains, an irreplaceable rich resource of information that enables students, lecturers, international scholars and visitors to not only appraise fine art and design history but also to tangibly remain current. Yes, we live in a digital age but nothing can replace the depth and breadth of the Elam Library. It would be a profound mistake to close this unique resource know internationally as a world-class place of learning and research. Peter Haythornthwaite, former student and senior lecturer.

  3. Why would we move backwards? Fine arts library has so many invaluable resources that students can benefit from. Closing it simply because reducing costs is not wise in the long run. Rather, exploring alternative ways to raise funding is what we should think through!
    Again, we already have a valuable fine arts library, why should we close it? History will judge…
    Please save it!

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