Maastricht University students and staff can no longer use the EIPA (European Institute of Public Administration) library, situated on the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. EIPA has to economise and does not have sufficient funds to maintain the collection and to ensure permanent supervision, says Joyce Groneschild, the institute's marketing co-ordinator. “We only have one librarian, who cannot always be present.”
A small section of the collection – 5 to 10 per cent - is registered as official European Document Centre (subsidised by the European Union) and must remain open to the public. “This section will continue to be accessible by appointment to UM students and staff,” says Groneschild.
Paul Stephenson, director of studies of the Master’s of European Studies, has already had a few students at his door who have been duped by the closure. He emphasises that he values the collaboration with EIPA very much, but at the same time thinks it's “a great pity” that consultation of these valuable sources will be almost impossible. “It is a little short-sighted, because our graduates are potential participants of their courses. In a few years' time, they will be in positions where decisions are made as to whether they will send their students to EIPA or not.”
The director of studies of the Master’s of European Public Affairs, Esther Versluis, also regrets the closure. “We offer this master’s together with EIPA, their members of staff teach for us. The students used to be given a tour of the documentation centre, but this has been abolished now. A real pity, but I don’t think the collection is the main problem. Our master’s students often worked there, since it is usually very busy in the university library and it is quiet here.”