Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Shelf Protection

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Shelf Protection

Article excerpt

It is indeed sad that the successful bid by the London School of Economics to take over the Women's Library does not include the purpose- designed building in Old Castle Street, Whitechapel, currently managed by London Metropolitan University ("LSE is fine, but it's not a room of their own", News, 4 October). But what are the alternatives?

London Met has said that it cannot afford to continue paying the Pounds 500,000 annual cost of running the library, and given the current economic situation in higher education, few universities would contemplate taking on such an expense, especially if they were operating the building at a distance. As far as I am aware, London Met initially contacted the British Library about taking on the archive and the reply was negative. It then cast its net wider to attract other bidders. All the bids save one, that submitted by the LSE, were withdrawn. Turning down that bid would have left the Women's Library limited to opening just one day a week and slowly dying from a thousand cuts. …

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