21 Jun 2018

Library housing NZ compositions to close

From Upbeat, 4:44 pm on 21 June 2018

The library housing many New Zealand compositions is set to close, causing job losses.

The Music and Dance Library Te Herenga Pūoru at the University of Auckland, along with the Elam Fine Arts and Architecture & Planning libraries will be merged into the university’s general library.

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Photo: Fuad Tabba, Auckland University, Wikimedia Commons

45 full time equivalent staff across the three libraries will lose their jobs, including those with specialist knowledge of music.

READ: Staff "devastated" by creative libraries closure

The Music and Dance Library houses more than 30,000 scores, 20,000 books and many recordings covering varying topics including ethnomusicology to classical music.

It’s also known for its collection of medieval and renaissance music and has one of the largest Russian music collections in the southern hemisphere.

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Professor Stuart McCutcheon Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The announcement was made by Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon today following a review and consultation period.

READ: students rally against Uni library closures

The Vice-Chancellor said in a statement that by merging these libraries with the general library the University will save several million dollars.

He says the Arts are still important and that it has been a difficult choice to close the specialist libraries.

Auckland School of Music

Auckland School of Music Photo: Patrick Reynolds

In April a staff member who helped close down the engineering library told RNZ about 10,000 books were incinerated because it was the cheapest and quickest way to get rid of stock.

But a university spokesperson says they would never burn books. They will however dispose of books that are damaged, duplicated or out of date, which is “normal library practice”.

Uwe Grodd

Uwe Grodd Photo: Charles Brooks

The University says the closing of the libraries has nothing to do with the restructure of the School of Music, which sees the loss of five staff including high profile professor Uwe Grodd and cello senior lecturer Edith Salzmann.

Read: Library closure worries international music association