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Our libraries have to stay open!

GEW Studis FAU criticize job cuts and reduced library offerings and call for a demonstration.

"As of Monday, April 3, the opening hours will change in some departmental libraries in the city centre and in the southern campus. ," says the website of the University Library of FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg. More than 20 branch libraries are affected. The opening hours will be reduced and two libraries of smaller subjects will be closed.

When we asked the library management about this, there was no answer. However, those affected report that positions have been cut, according to our information primarily positions for student assistants. The reason for this is the lower allocation of funds from so calles “Studienzuschüssen”. These are funds intended to help improve study quality. It is not actually intended to be used for basic services such as running the libraries, but it’s common practice due to underfunding. If these funds then fall away as expected, we have to pay for it as always.

After all, libraries are not just places to store books, but also essential work and study spaces, as well as meeting places for students of a discipline. With shorter opening hours, the possibilities for scientific work and the successful preparation of examinations are massively restricted. Even without cuts, the learning places are already limited and overcrowded, especially in the peak exam phase.

Switching to other libraries is not really an option, since the specialist literature is often only available locally. In addition, the student staff are mostly subject-related students who can provide special support with questions and problems. In times of hybrid and online teaching (even after the peak of the pandemic), the branch libraries are often the only physical point of contact with fellow students, the university and the department. This personal exchange is invaluable. Therefore, we are also looking with great concern at the planned merge of all philosophical branch libraries at the new location in the Himbeerpalast.

If it is not possible to fund the positions with the existing funds, we see the need of the university to act and to cover them with other budget items. We also see the state government as responsible for providing the university with sufficient money for basic funding. The university should be well equipped in all areas, not just in areas of excellence, “high-tech agenda” projects or other publicity stunts.

We are in solidarity with our colleagues whose contracts have not been extended. Student workers, who generally suffer from precarious employment, are once again being left out in the cold. Studying is made more difficult for students.

Budget cuts in education and science must end! 

Especially when it hits those with the smallest lobby and the fewest opportunities for co-determination.

We demand:

  • (Re)increase in the number of positions in the university libraries!
  • Secured preservation of all libraries!
  •  Stable basic funding of the universities by the state!
  • Better working conditions and better payemtn for student employees and their inclusion in the collective agreement of the federal states (TV-L)!
  • Creation of new learning and working spaces for students - improvements and no deterioration in the quality of studies!

In order to express this grievance and to publicize our demands, we are calling for a demonstration.

On April 26th at 6:00 p.m. on the Schlossplatz in Erlangen we will call on the university and the state government not to make our life even more difficult and to finally make more money available for science and education!