About 40 students and others staged what they called the “Spring Into Action” rally Thursday at Sproul Plaza, relaunching the Occupy Cal movement’s protest against a wide range of issues, including rising tuition and state disinvestment in public higher education.
The event organizers also announced plans for a “study in” encampment later in the day at the Anthropology Library at Kroeber Hall, citing recent curtailment of hours there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to noon to 5 p.m., evidence of what they believe to be misguided priorities throughout the University of California. The protesters vowed to occupy the library, possibly staying after the library is scheduled to close at 5 p.m.
However, University Librarian Tom Leonard issued a statement that was posted on the doors of the Kroeber Hall library explaining that hours have been trimmed for the spring semester due to the unexpected departure of a staff member in December, not budgetary constraints. “California’s fiscal crisis limits our options, but is not the reason we have shortened hours. Had we not lost this key person, the hours in Anthropology would be unchanged,” Leonard wrote.
Below is the text of Leonard’s six-point statement about the Anthropology Library situation.
1. The Anthropology Library in Kroeber Hall has trimmed hours for the spring semester following the unexpected departure of a staff member in December. We have formed a team to review how we provide services. The acting head of the Anthropology Library is on this team. If you would like to leave your email address or the name of a group we should contact to register an opinion as the plans take shape, please give this information to Librarian & Acting Head Kathleen Gallagher at the desk or to me: TLeonard@Library.Berkeley.edu. Anthropology Library users will be the first people we will contact in this campus-wide review.
2. California’s fiscal crisis limits our options, but is not the reason we have shortened hours. Had we not lost this key person, the hours in Anthropology would be unchanged.
3. Earlier this month the Library consulted with the Anthropology Chair and explained the situation to students and faculty in the department. This conversation and search for solutions is continuing.
4. The margin of safety for collections, built over generations, is thin when libraries become protest sites. These books and journals are an irreplaceable asset for the campus. We are grateful that members of the Anthropology faculty have offered to help.
5. The Anthropology Library closes at 5 p.m. today. Permission is not granted to stay in the Library after closing. Anyone who remains in the Library after 5 p. m. will be in violation of University rules.
6. The following campus libraries will be open in the evening for your studying convenience after the Anthropology library closes at 5PM
HOURS: Libraries open after 5p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2012:
Art History/Classics – until 9 p.m.
Biosciences – until 10 p.m.
Business – until 10 p.m
Chemistry – until 7 p.m.
Doe – until 9 p.m.
Earth Sciences – until 9 p.m.
Education/Psychology – until 9 p.m.
Engineering – until 10 p.m.
Environmental Design – until 9 p.m.
Gardner (MAIN) Stacks – until 10 p.m.
Graduate Services – until 9 p.m.
Mathematics/Statistics – until 6 p.m.
Moffitt – until 10 p.m.
Music – until 8 p.m.
Optometry – until 7 p.m.
Physics/Astronomy – until 7 p.m.
Public Health – until 8 p.m.
Social Welfare – until 6 p.m.