Save the South/Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley

Save the South/Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley

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SAVE THE SSEAL 120 DOE started this petition to UC Berkeley Library and

Statement of Support: South/Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley

After 50 years in operation, the South/Southeast Asia Library (S/SEAL) located at 120 Doe Library on campus is at risk of closure to accommodate office cubicles. Read the proposal: here.

Opened in 1970, the S/SEAL has served as a window to the world of South and Southeast Asian cultures to promote cross cultural understanding in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to its foundational role supporting scholarship of the area, the S/SEAL serves the community through academic & professional presentations, curated exhibitions of the collection, library and course orientations, and fundraising and book launching events to strengthen and promote the South/Southeast Asian community on the local, national and international levels. But the primary day-to-day function of the S/SEAL is a physical space for interaction with, and enrichment of, the student body.

Representing 19 countries with material sourced over decades in 30 plus languages, the S/SEAL serves as the heart of interdisciplinary scholarship on campus for some of the world’s oldest, most diverse civilizations comprising 30% of the world’s population. Located at 120 Doe Library, the S/SEAL provides a physical space for students to interact with the heritage of the region and feel at home. For members of our student body who identify as South and/or Southeast Asian, this is the only space on campus dedicated to the celebration and preservation of both regions' cultural production. The space has a humble seating capacity of 30+, is calm and conducive to engagement with the resources, and is curated by the two South Asia and Southeast Asia librarians. If the space for the S/SEAL is taken for office cubicles, we lose our only place to experience the region as well as the heart of our collegiality.

The physical setting of the South/Southeast Asia Library is the only library of its kind in the United States and in the world! It primarily nourishes the scholars of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley (the only one of its kind in the United States). The S/SEAL also supports the goals of the Institute for South Asia Studies and the Center for Southeast Asia Studies, who receive Title VI federal funding to support the hosting and training of regional scholars. The South/Southeast Asia library is wholly unique in its mission and most importantly physical space.

This attempted erasure of the library's history and heritage is an assault not only on our academic institutions & centers but also members of our student body who call this place “home.”

By signing this petition you reject the proposed closure of the South/Southeast Asia Library at 120 Doe Library, and support its current location and mission.

Please kindly include: Name - Major/Department (if any) - Location (if comfortable)

Thank you for your support!

 

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At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!