University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Uproar over library closure

Over 100 researchers now protest against dispersal of the Polar Library. Greenland MP Juliane Henningsen now also involved

Researchers are up in arms over plans to close the internationally renowned Polar Library, which is partly owned by the University of Copenhagen (U of C).

Subsequent to the University Post story, over 100 have signed an open letter to Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Helge Sander, writes Information.

See the article Renowned polar library to close down here.

In the letter, researchers express concern over the dispersal of the unique collection of arctic literature, fearing that information will be more difficult to access.

Arctic research will suffer

Jens Dahl, adjunct professor at the U of C, feels that the polar research will suffer from the loss of the physical focal point. He also regrets the disbanding of research environment represented by the building in Christianshavn, which houses the Department of Eskimology and Arctic Studies and Arctic institute, as well as the library.

The closure comes as Eskimology and Arctic Studies and the other partial owner of the collection, the privately owned Arctic Institute have been given notice to leave the renovated warehouse, which houses the library. The Danish Polar Center, under the Ministry of Science, shared the building and the rental costs until its closure in February.

Lower priority to Arctic research

The researchers behind the letter are surprised by apparent political decision to downplay the importance of Arctic research, especially since the Polar Regions play a key role in understanding climate change.

»It seems odd, that the government has invested a whole lot of money in the International Polar Year last year, and in the upcoming Climate Conference, and at the same time choose to give this a lower priority,« explains Jens Dahl.

Greenland gets involved

Unusually, the Greenlandic politician Juliane Henningsen has chosen to get involved in this Danish political issue.

»It is not in anyone’s best interests that Arctic Research is weakened, especially at a time when there is so much focus on this subject due to climate change,« she says.