Sir: Please allow me to challenge Major-General John Hardy's description of Sion College's finances and implied denigration of its library cataloguing ("Library break-up provokes ungodly row", 9 June). An institution with pounds 600,000 in investments can scarcely have "run out of money". Moreover, its building has a tenant, the City Livery Club, which pays for all external repairs except stonework, and maintains the decor of the parts it uses.
The College has never even been expected to pay its way: it is a charity that has received, and still receives, valuable gifts of books and money. Previous Courts have managed to raise additional funds: eg, the College was able by this means to meet half, as planned, of the total sum needed for installing mobile bookstacks in the late 1980s.
The present Court panicked to find a way out. Add the disgraceful apathy of all but a valiant handful of the 80 or so Fellows and you have the current desperate, anti-intellectual, anti-religious haste to short-circuit the problem by breaking up the valuable and convenient scholarly library (which, incidentally, extends far beyond theology) and selling the building that was meant as a centre for fellowship.
Kings Lynn, Norfolk
The writer was Library Reorganisation Project Officer, Sion College, 1987-90.Reuse content