Update on proposed changes to the Language Centre Library – July 2019

In February 2019, the Language Centre put forward proposals for changes to the Language Centre Library.


The proposals would have seen library resources needed for teaching retained at the Language Centre, while consolidating remaining library materials into the Bodleian libraries. They were put forward in response to low and declining usage of the library, the increasing availability of online learning materials, the need to increase efficiency across the University’s administration services, and to allow the Language Centre to invest in priority areas.


A consultation took place from February to May 2019.  This included the publication of  a paper with further information about the proposals, an online survey, and an Open Forum discussion event at St Luke’s Chapel on Tuesday 7 May 2019. A report from the Open Forum was published shortly after the event.


There was a significant strength of feeling raised in the course of the consultation process, and on Thursday 30 May, a Congregation resolution was published in the University Gazette (issue 5242) that called for the proposed changes to be suspended, and for a review of the Language Centre to take place.


A meeting took place between those who proposed the Congregation motion and senior University officials on 31 May, and minutes from that meeting are now available online.


Council accepted the resolution, and its response was published in the University Gazette on Thursday 13 June (issue 5244).  An amendment to the resolution was also published in the same issue setting out more detail on the content of the review.  Council confirmed in the Gazette on Thursday 27 June (issue 5246) that the amendment was acceptable to it.


A Congregation debate took place on Tuesday 2 July where the resolution was passed as amended. A full transcript of the Congregation debate can be found here.


A Language Centre Committee will now be re-established in Michaelmas term 2019, reporting to Education Committee. A review of the Language Centre and its contribution to language learning will also be undertaken under the oversight of Education Committee. 


The Language Centre library will continue to operate, and the proposed changes have been withdrawn while the review takes place.


Further information will be provided in due course. If you have any questions, please contact comms@lang.ox.ac.uk.