For the National Library of France, research and knowledge are simple adjustment variables


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Thought to save money, the new organization for the communication of the institution’s documents revolts the researchers. And will have obvious consequences for the state of knowledge in the country.

We must understand what is happening on the banks of the Seine in Paris, under the esplanade of the National Library of France. Some speak of unprecedented decline to find out, others of yet another destruction of a public service. They’re right. The case may seem secondary: since May 2, for documents reserved the same day, researchers and readers on the ground floor of the Tolbiac site will now only be able to consult them in the afternoon. And if you want to consult in the morning, you will have to have chosen them the day before. What does this change? Many more things than it seems.

All the players are pissed off: researchers, readers, but also some 2,300 workers, some of whom have gone on strike. The latter, moreover, denounce “a policy of job destruction under the guise of redeployment of positions” and the “increasing precariousness of trades as the increase in arduousness”. HAS Release also, we are pissed off. We are not researchers. But on the occasion of a project that we carried out on the history of popular Paris, we surveyed the cozy rooms almost every week for more than a year…

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