Cash crisis hits books

February 21, 1997

STUDENTS face restricted access to the University of London library because of a subscription cash crisis.

Subscriptions from constituent colleges and institutes cannot sustain current, let alone projected, service requirements, according to an internal report. By the end of this year the library expects to have lost 13 staff since 1994/95 and there is growing pressure on the book budget.

The report, Options for a Future Funding Methodology for the University of London Library, calculates that college subscription rates, covering full student access, would have to rise by up to 230 per cent to cover costs.

This, the largest increase, would hit the School of Oriental and African Studies, taking the 1996/97 subscription from Pounds 47,780 to Pounds 158,079 in 1997/98. Birkbeck, which projects a Pounds 2.7 million deficit by 1999/2000, would face a subscription rise of 1 per cent.

ULL librarian Emma Robinson said: "I really cannot imagine the colleges and institutes paying the extra amount required to sustain full access and so I think that there will have to be a reduction in access for students."

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