Due to new health and safety regulations, step ladders are no longer permitted at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. The library was first opened in 1602, and many of the Oxford library buildings have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages. The librarians and health officials are at an impasse. According to Laurence Benson, the library’s director of administration and finance, “The library would prefer to keep the books in their original historic location, where they have been safely consulted for 400 years prior to the instructions from the Health and Safety office.”
Students requesting books on the top shelf are given a notice by staff which reads: “Unable to fetch book kept on top shelf in gallery. Due to new health and safety measures, step ladders can no longer be used.” As a result, students have been forced to travel more than 50 miles each way to London to conduct research.
I… don’t even know what to say about this, it’s so absurd. Ah, Britain: taking bureaucracy to the next level.*
*(Please note that I love British people and nearly all things British, with the ballooning, oppressive bureaucracy standing as a sole exception.)