TAFE – Ultimo Campus – Library changes – November 2016

TAFE Ultimo – Library changes – November 2016 (PDF version)

Library staff were informed in a meeting on 16 November the that Level 2 of the Ultimo Library was going to be handed over to the Corporate Office from early next year. Staff were specifically informed that:

  • by March 2017, TAFE Corporate will take over Level 2 of the current library facility for improved office space
  • over the December/January period all the books, shelving, furniture and other student facilities would be moved
  • library staff and students would need to accept the “short term pain” of cramped library facilities over the next 12-24 months.

Following this meeting, PSA (CPSU) members started a campaign against the closure, in conjunction with students concerned about losing their Library services. Last week the PSA (CPSU) met with the Managing Director Jon Black for our Peak Consultative Committee.

In spite of the above information being provided to staff, Jon Black confirmed that it was TAFE NSW’s preferred option for the Corporate Office to take over Level 2 of the Ultimo Library. While the final decision is not yet to be made, these discussions are pointing to a very high probability that Level 2 of the Ultimo Library will be closed and handed to the Corporate Office.

The likely closure of one third of the Ultimo Library is in spite of:

  • Level 2 housing the main collection of around 90,000 lending items, as well as student access computers, open study space, quiet study space, group study space and classrooms
  • the current Library serving the information needs of approximately 28,000 students
  • the quiet spaces and study rooms on Level 2 being consistently booked out
  • teachers, industry liaison staff, library staff and students strongly in support of maintaining (and improving) the spaces and resources currently available
  • students coming from many other campuses to use the Ultimo Library
  • without an alternative location that is quiet and available for students to study the loss of Level 2 would have a significant, negative impact on the ability for students to complete their studies.

Since PSA (CPSU) members started to communicate TAFE’s plans to reduce library services, a significant number of students have expressed their concern to TAFE and have developed a campaign to stop these attacks from occurring. The PSA (CPSU) will continue to support any campaign against the proposed takeover of one third of the Ultimo Library by senior public servants for the Corporate Office. As TAFE management now claim that “no decision has been made” there is ample opportunity for them to investigate ways of housing their Corporate Offices without reducing the first class Library service they currently provide students.

Why is this happening?

Due to the NSW State Governments “Smart and Skilled” reforms, TAFE is increasingly under pressure to become a commercial entity with less and less government funding. Students are increasingly asked to pay for courses at commercial rates and increasingly get fewer facilities, less support and fewer services for their increased financial burden. Increasingly a corporatised, semi-privatised TAFE sees itself as needing only the marketable façade of student support services such as libraries, counselling, career advice, disability support in order to compete on cost basis with scandal ridden for-profit private providers of VET.

What can you do?

If you are concerned at the loss of Library services and what this will mean for students, please inform them of their right to lodge an official complaint. Complaint forms can be found HERE.

Or alternatively the complaint can be emailed to .

In addition, please sign the petition to Save Ultimo TAFE Library services. A Link to the petition can be found on the Save Ultimo Library Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saveultimotafelibrary/

You can support the work of your union and your local delegates by asking non-members to JOIN the PSA (CPSU) today.