Open Letter: Wolfson Medical Library

An open letter to the University asking for out of hours access to the Walton Library in the Wolfson Medical School Building to be reinstated.

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Dear Professor Muscatelli,

I’m contacting you with regards to the current opening hours of the University’s Wolfson Medical School Building and the Walton Library within it. Specifically, to request that out of hours access for students should be reinstated with immediate effect.

At present the building is open for students to access Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm. No out of hours access is currently available. As I’m sure you are aware, prior to the pandemic out of hours access was available to Undergraduate students from the School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing and to Postgraduates from the College of MVLS.

For comparison, The James Herriot Library at the University’s Veterinary School is currently open 8am till 2am 7 days a week.

The SRC Advice Centre has been approached by a number of medical students who are extremely unhappy with the ongoing lack of out of hours access. Many of these students are currently attending full-time placements during which they are often working on unpredictable hospital shift patterns, meaning they are unable to access the building, and specifically the Walton library which is situated within the building.

Interestingly, the University’s website still advertises 24-hour student access to the Walton Library here.

Our SRC MVLS Undergraduate Convenor carried out an informal survey of medical students on the issue and of the over 600 responses he received he found that almost 98% of respondents would like to see the building open to students out of hours.

We have approached the Head of the Medical School on this issue a number of times in the last academic year but have unfortunately been unable to negotiate any amendment to the building’s opening hours. As the University is gradually returning to more in-person learning from the next academic year onwards, we would expect that facilities on campus should be adjusted to reflect this.

We would be grateful if you would look favourably on this request and intervene. We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Ella McCabe

GUSRC President