A blast of hot air greets users in the Thesis Room of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD), located on the fourth floor of the Pedro Mir Library.
The air conditioning has been in trouble for years, But the streak of no service has been going on for months in a row.
Complaints from users of both the UASD and other universities, as well as independent researchers, who come with the hope of having a good time consulting the graduate and postgraduate theses that are kept there are worth nothing. They arrive, request the documents and after five minutes they return them and leave. Those who hold out a little longer leave the place sweaty, in a bad mood and lamenting the poor service. The staff tries to motivate them, but there is nothing they can do when the complaints start to escalate. “That way you cannot investigate or consult anything. The heat is so strong that it is impossible to have a good time reading; I asked for permission at work to come,” the visitors complain. That is one of the reasons why the room receives fewer and fewer users, and not precisely the coronavirus pandemic. Why? Because the thesis is one of the few rooms that continues to offer a 100 percent service to students, teachers and researchers in the library. On a good morning, however, they barely receive 20 users.
The director of the Library’s Bibliographic Services, Modesto Encarnación, admits that there are several spaces in the building without air conditioning, and that it is because specialized work has to be carried out that requires repairing the ducts and acquiring a very expensive system (chiller) . “But they are working on it,” he told Listín Diario. The poor state of the library is notorious. An apparent well-kept first floor contrasts with the deterioration of the fourth floor, where ceilings, columns and floors show the ravages of leaks and lack of maintenance. On rainy days, the shelves in the Thesis Room are covered with plastic sheets to protect the texts from water. In addition to the thesis room, there is a newspaper library, a video library, the Pedro Mir Museum room, videoconference rooms and the Old Fund Collection on this floor. Despite the deterioration, Encarnación says that the present administration has responded to the problems of the library, highlighting the lighting of the entire campus and the construction of a water well, “which did not have one.”
17 YEARS. The central library of the UASD was inaugurated on August 3, 2004. RD $ 258.9 million were invested in its construction, which began in 1997. It covers an area of 33,159 square meters.