Concern over London's research resources 3

June 18, 2009

I am alarmed by the letter of the vice-chancellor of the University of London, Sir Grahame Davies, in which he seeks to reassure an earlier correspondent as to the fate of the University of London library. I take his reference to the "users of the libraries of the ten institutes that make up the School of Advanced Study and other local, regional, national and international users" as suggesting some sort of further amalgamation of the library services of these specialist libraries with that of the library of the University of London.

If this suspicion is well founded, I must protest. As a longstanding user of the library of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies - latterly as a "national user" - I have made extensive use not only of the comprehensive holdings of the IALS library but also of the expert knowledge of its staff. The same is true of my national and international colleagues, and of my research and taught masters students. In so far as the vice-chancellor's strategic plan jeopardises either the collection or the specialist library staff, it will seriously undermine the IALS as a great national and international resource.

Harry Rajak, Emeritus professor, Sussex Law School.

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