Sign the Petition, Save the Art Library

So, perhaps saving the Art Library isn’t as easy as the title of this post suggests. But, shouldn’t it be that easy? Whether you’re an Art History Major, lover of quiet study spaces, Art Library employee, or just generally don’t appreciate the Administrative oversight of student, faculty, and staff voices in the Art Library’s imminent closure, please sign the petition for the reasons outlined below:


1)  Keep the Art Library in the Center for the Arts; keep art books near art class. Just as Hall-Atwater, Shanklin, and Exley surround the Science Library’s collection, the Center for the Arts should surround the Art Library’s collection, creating a hub for Arts’ students.

2) The Art Library is a sanctuary for academic study that the Administration cannot replicate within Olin. This cherished study space fosters a unique, close-knit, and intellectual community not only for students of the Arts, but for all students.

3) The Art Library has in its collection some of Wesleyan’s most valuable items, which may not receive adequate oversight if moved to Olin. We must continue to prioritize the Arts by housing the collection in a physical space which appropriately celebrates its purpose, rather than confine the collection to a monolithic repository.

4) The closure of the Art Library and consolidation of the collection will result in the loss of a dozen student jobs. This reduction of student jobs proves particularly alarming on an already competitive campus with regard to student employment.

5) We, as members of the Wesleyan community, assert our right to be involved in Art Library decision-making. This plan is a purely administrative decision that is going forward without any input from students, faculty, or staff.

  • Holla @ @Batte_A:disqus: “StJ, Wesleying is not and has never been neutral/upheld any strict
    standards aiming at neutrality – please don’t spread that myth.”

  • Batte_A

    EDIT: Forgot to post this as a reply. Whatever, #dgaf

    StJ, Wesleying is not and has never been neutral/upheld any strict standards aiming at neutrality – please don’t spread that myth.

    In response, though:

    1. Even if I grant you that observation, it’s just an observation – not a justification for moving the art books further.

    2. If it’s not their job to provide, why should it be their job to regulate it without input from the people who actually use it (students, faculty)? Saying that we’re saying this is an “attack on student freedoms” is a straw man – you don’t know that that’s how most people who have an issue with this are framing it as such.

    3. If you want to argue this, shouldn’t you be addressing the argument that special treatment of  the collection includes separate storage?

    4. What? How?

    5. You’re right that it’s not our decision what’s done with the books. That’s exactly what many of us (or at least myself) have an issue with.

    “Asserting rights to student jobs, determination of the University’s
    future, and study space choice really doesn’t make any sense. Those
    aren’t rights.”
    That’s what we/I would like to change. Since this school is ostensibly *for* us (students and faculty), shouldn’t it be run at least significantly *by* us? Isn’t “by the people, for the people” a commonly cited principle of democracy?

     “If you want to save the art
    library, make a case for why it should be prioritized over renovating
    broken-down housing, admitting more financial aid students, or bringing
    high-quality professors to campus.”
    It would be great if you could support your argument that those things are actually what’s being weighed against the Art Library, and not numerous other (and possibly more pressing) financial considerations. How do you know? Are you an administrator? (If so, I/we would love to chat – let’s set up a meeting!)

    “the next best option (moving the resources to Olin) is MUCH better than
    the next best option involving any number of other University
    priorities.”
    Can you show for certain that no other option is any better? What’s your shortlist? How do you know you (or the administration) has exhausted the possibilities?

    “Allowing facilities to deteriorate, not admitting students
    who appear to be low-income, forcing triples–these are much worse, in
    my mind, than having art in Olin instead of in Davidson.”
    Again, you’re concluding that it’s either the Art Library or the things you listed without any support for that dichotomy. Your general concern for the University’s budget priorities, though, is noted and shared – you might want to pay special attention to campus goings-on in the coming weeks.

    Also, assuming that you’re a student, it’s clear that you have your own concerns and priorities for the University, even if they’re not the same as or in opposition to someone else’s. Why would you be against administrators taking them seriously?

  • Saner than Joe

    Is Wesleying really the appropriate voice for your views / shouldn’t this be a post about a petition, with the idea that Wesleying is more neutral? (This has been happening a lot of late).

    In response, though:

    1. English books are already far away from English classes. Art books would be just as far.

    2. It’s not the administration’s job to find you places to study. There are a number of wonderful places that you can study in. That one is no longer going to be available is unfortunate, maybe, but it isn’t some sort of attack on student freedoms.

    3. Seems unlikely that the pieces would not be treated well enough to preserve their value. Of course, this is possible, but isn’t it a separate issue?

    4. This is the same silly argument for giving subsidies to coal companies. 

    5. You don’t have any rights. It’s an administrative decision about how to house materials. If they want to move them, they can move them. Sure, it might be nice if they asked students, but they don’t have to.

    Asserting rights to student jobs, determination of the University’s future, and study space choice really doesn’t make any sense. Those aren’t rights. Moreover, it’s unconvincing. If you want to save the art library, make a case for why it should be prioritized over renovating broken-down housing, admitting more financial aid students, or bringing high-quality professors to campus.  Otherwise, you’re just being unrealistic and will be dismissed as such.

    For me, the reason I’m not signing the petition is simple: the next best option (moving the resources to Olin) is MUCH better than the next best option involving any number of other University priorities. Allowing facilities to deteriorate, not admitting students who appear to be low-income, forcing triples–these are much worse, in my mind, than having art in Olin instead of in Davidson.

    • bitter queer

      don’t hide behind anonymity “not joe”

    • Melodious

      I’ll confess: I didn’t read most of your post. But, in response to your concern about my posting something that vocalizes my own opinions or stance on an issue:

      Would you rather that I just throw someone else’s name who was involved in writing the petition at the beginning in bold, burgundy font? As Anwar said, Wesleying has never been neutral on issues. Also, isn’t your call for objectivity a little silly when you consider the inherent bias of any “journalistic” piece?

      Since I did read your last paragraph, the Davison Art Center is a facility that the University is allowing to deteriorate. The University will continue to offer need blind regular admissions. ResLife’s planned addition this summer of 100 beds in the Butterfields will eliminate the potential for any forced triples. Get your facts checked if you’re gonna strive for such ideals of factual objectivity, brah. Do you have any other big priorities that you’d like to raise?

      Also, I never really asserted that any of my grievances were over a loss of “rights,” so your critique there seems misguided or misinformed. If you want a copy of the full proposal, then I’m happy to supply you with one. To do that though, I just need your wesleyan e-mail address. I just didn’t think posting the entire rationale behind this petition was merited or would be read by the Wesleying audience.