The Architecture library is threatened with imminent closure before the start of the Fall semester without having consulted concerned students, alumni, and faculty. The architecture library serves as a valuable resource for the unique needs of the students at the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation as well as the student body at large.
The space serves as an important refuge of quiet study and an unparalleled resource with its knowledgeable and accessible staff. More importantly, the library’s intimate size encourages personal interactions with the staff and enables its users to easily browse through the stacks. Moreover, architecture, the fine arts, and related professions rely upon print media to help understand the designed environment- easily accessible books provided by the architecture library are a critical component for learning in these disciplines.
Students from a variety of disciplines beyond the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation regularly utilize the architecture library as an alternative to McKeldin Library, and for its convenient location to classes.Top architecture schools and universities nationwide have retained architecture libraries despite mounting cost pressures and perceived changes in education from print to digital resources.
Centralizing services would greatly diminish the educational quality and prestige of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation as well as the educational excellence of the University of Maryland as a whole.
See original letter addressed to Dean Conrath on June 18th.
We are deeply concerned by the plans to close the University of Maryland's architecture library, and shocked that it has been proposed without any input from the student body, alumni, or faculty. The library serves as a powerful asset for learning, a critical study space, and contributes to the quality and prestige of our academics. With the architecture library removed from the building, our quality of education would suffer greatly.
We realize that the library system may be acting with valid concern for the financial situation of a much-distressed system; however, it is also clear that this is a top-down decision that does not benefit from any feedback or creative problem solving from concerned students and faculty.
In light of this, we, the undersigned, propose that the removal of the architecture library be delayed for at least six months until proper consideration by faculty, concerned alumni, and staff can be made regarding this issue. We have a right, as users of the library, to have our questions answered in a public forum, and therefore call for the convening of a public meeting where our concerns can be aired and our questions answered.