You responded. We listened. Here’s what’s next for the South/Southeast Asia Library.

Celebration in the South/Southeast Asian Library
Ninik Lunde, lecturer in the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, performs a traditional dance during an event in the South/Southeast Asia Library in 2018. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the UC Berkeley Library)


Earlier this month, the UC Berkeley Library issued a call for comment to a proposal to integrate the South/Southeast Asia Library’s collections and services into those of Doe Library and Main (Gardner) Stacks.

And you responded. You shared fond memories of studying in the South/Southeast Asia Library. You told us how the library and its dedicated staff came through for you. You emphasized the library’s value as a beacon of inclusion.

And we listened.

Today, the Library is announcing its decision to withdraw the proposal for the South/Southeast Asia Library.

As a Library system, our mission is to help current and future users find, evaluate, use, and create knowledge to better the world. And to uphold that commitment, we must listen — and respond to — the needs of the members of our community. The South/Southeast Asia Library has a strong tradition — through exhibits, events, research support, and its trove of treasures — of bringing together scholars of South and Southeast Asia, and members of the South and Southeast Asian community.

With the decision to withdraw the proposal, members of these communities will continue to have a safe, welcoming environment that fulfills this important role. In the meantime, the Library is exploring other ways to reallocate space to meet the evolving needs of Berkeley students and faculty.

University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason would like to thank College of Letters & Science’s Division of Arts & Humanities Dean Anthony Cascardi and Division of Social Sciences Dean Raka Ray for their assistance in obtaining input to inform the decision-making process.

The Library is always evolving. And in the days and years to come, we look forward to a continued dialogue as we chart a better future, together.