A message to all students from the Director of Library Services

Dear students,

Many of you have voiced your dismay that we have reduced the seating in the Arts and Social Sciences Library during this busy time. I would like to extend my personal apology for the inconvenience and concerns expressed and recognise that the pressure of exams and assignments, coupled with the reduction of seating, has been distressing.

As Director of Library Services, I have a duty of care to students and indeed the whole University community to provide a safe place to read, research and study.

Once we received advice from fire safety experts that, while the risk was low, the fire escapes in ASSL were not sufficient for the total number of occupants of the building, we had to reduce the amount of seating. We created additional study spaces on campus as close as possible to ASSL; while we lost 500 seats in ASSL we made 915 extra seats available elsewhere on campus and in nearby Clifton residences.

Work is scheduled over the summer to upgrade the fire escapes in ASSL and we will be ready for next academic year with over 1000 seats in ASSL.

We worked with the Bristol SU on communications and I want to thank Nasra Ayub, Undergraduate Education Officer in particular, for helping us to clarify the situation through the Questions and Answers on their site.  

I know it was a very unfortunate time to make these changes but the safety of our students and staff is paramount.

Some of you may also be aware of an incident, in which the emergency services were called to the Arts and Social Sciences Library, following concerns for a student’s welfare. The student is now receiving the support they need and I would like to reassure students, particularly those who may have been present during the incident, that the situation was resolved and no students were hurt. For those who may have been affected we have wellbeing advisors on hand within the library each day between 12 pm and 2 pm. The Student Wellbeing Service, with links and access to various support networks, is also available to any student should they require them.

Again, I apologise for any inconveniences and would like to express my thanks to you all for your patience and understanding at this stressful and busy time. 


Philip Kent

Director of Library Services

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