DISPUTE: The library at Glasgow University's Wolfson Medical School is at the centre of a row over opening hours.
Medical students at Glasgow University have 24-hour access to the library, but new proposals would see opening times restricted from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.
The university's Students' Representative Council (SRC) said the change at the Wolfson Medical School library would damage the education of trainee medics, who often work unsociable shifts.
However, a spokesman for the university said overnight opening – when the library was unsupervised – had raised issues of behaviour among some students. And he stressed medical students still had access to the main library, which opens from 7.45am to 2am.
James Harrison, president of the SRC, said the reduction from 168 hours a week to just 60 hours was unacceptable.
"Students in the medical school already have a very large workload and a 64% cut to their access of study space is simply unacceptable," he said.
"This is a drastic move away from the 24-hour access currently offered to medical students, many of whom require access at all hours of the day, due to their shift work in hospitals."
Mr Harrison also claimed the university's plans, due to be implemented in September, had not been properly consulted on with students and staff.
The SRC has now launched a petition for students to express their opposition to the proposed reduction.
A university spokesman said: "When the medical school library was opened, the main university library had much more restricted opening hours than it has now.
"The main library is now open until 2am and contains all of the books available to students in the medical school library, many of which are also available online.
"Concerns were raised by students about the behaviour of other students during periods of unsupervised access at the library, and this is something we have to take extremely seriously.
"What is now being proposed is intended to enhance the quality of service provided to all medical students, with supervised opening hours from 8am to 8pm."
The spokesman added the new opening times would also apply to clinical skills and teaching rooms for small groups of students.
He said: "This represents an additional investment by the school to ensure the library offers a comfortable, safe and conducive learning environment. We have invited representatives of the SRC to a meeting to discuss the best way ahead for all."
l Bosses at Glasgow University yesterday said the controversial £15 million online registration system, MyCampus, was now working normally. They had to apologise twice this month after students could not log on to the system.
A university spokesman said: "MyCampus is now working normally and is open for access. We have been very grateful for the patience of students while we worked to overcome technical issues and would like to thank them for their co-operation."
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