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Help Save Palaeo Library

The following message was sent to the dinosaur list from a variant of
Tony Thulborn's address.  Listproc rejected it since it didn't
recognize the address as belonging to a subscriber.  Ordinarily I'd
have told listproc who the address belonged to and had Tony resend the
message, but in the interest of saving time I'm forwarding this one
for him.

-- MR

From: Tony Thulborn <paswamp@zoology.uq.oz.au>
Subject: Help Save Palaeo Library

----- URGENT ----- URGENT ----- URGENT -----

Closure of Dorothy Hill Geology Library

The Dorothy Hill Geology Library (University of Queensland) is "the largest
and most comprehensive collection of geological literature in any Australian
university" and "ranks among the world's outstanding geoscientific
libraries" (quoted from the library's introductory booklet). It was founded
on a core of palaeontological literature gathered by Professor Dorothy Hill
CBE, FRS, FAA, and is widely acknowledged as the best palaeontological
library in Australia and, probably, one of the best in the entire southern

The library contains nearly 43,000 monographs and nearly 3,000 serial
titles, of which more than half are current.  Most of these items (more than
98%) are not duplicated elsewhere in Queensland, and many of them are
unavailable elsewhere in Australia.  The library also houses a collection of
approximately 35,000 maps.

It has particular strengths in palaeontology, sedimentology and regional
geology (among various other fields), and in Russian and Chinese monographs
and periodicals (among many others).  In recent years efforts have been
directed to strengthening the library's holdings in palaeobiology,
vertebrate palaeontology and ichnology.

The library is an essential tool for palaeontological research; it is
heavily used by palaeontologists based in the University of Queensland and
in affiliated institutions (notably the Queensland Museum).  It also
sustains heavy use from geologists and palaeontologists based in other
Australian universities and state geological surveys.  In addition the
library is a key resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in
Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences and Geographical Sciences.  

The University Librarian has proposed that approximately 50% of holdings of
the Dorothy Hill Geology Library should be transferred into the Physical
Sciences & Engineering Library; the remainder is to be placed in storage.
Predictably, this proposal is supported by arguments of economy in time of
financial constraint.  (The projected financial savings are not impressive.
In fact, figures supplied by the University Librarian demonstrate that the
Geology Library is more cost-effective than the Physical Sciences &
Engineering Library: it provides 17% of the library services for only 11% of
the costs.)   The University Librarian claims to have received only a single
letter of protest.  This is not surprising, considering that there has still
been NO announcement of the proposal and NO consultation with library-users.

Closure of the library has already been approved "in principle" by the
University of Queensland's Library Committee.  That approval will go forward
for endorsement at the next meeting of the Library Committee - on Tuesday
March 4th.

Closure of the Dorothy Hill Library is a severe threat to the future of
palaeontology in Australia.  The decision-makers fail to understand that the
literature of 1897 is still current for palaeontologists in 1997.   Please
help to protect the library.  Express your concern by writing (letter, fax
or email) to one or more of the decision-makers (list below).   Please
forward this message to any interested parties.

Thank you for you help,

Tony Thulborn
Reader, Department of Zoology
University of Queensland

Professor John Hay
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072
        fax:  61 7 3365 1266
        email:   j.hay@mailbox.uq.oz.au

Professor Ted Brown
Deputy Vice-Chancellor
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072
        fax:   61 7 3365 2680
        email:  uqdvc@mailbox.uq.oz.au

Mrs Janine Schmidt
University Librarian
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072
        fax:    61 7 3365 1737
        email:   j.schmidt@library.uq.oz.au

Professor Cindy Gallois
Chair, Library Committee
The University of Queensland
Queensland 4072
        fax:   61 7 3365 4383
        email:   cg@psy.uq.oz.au