The Bodleian Library-the main research library of Oxford University and one of the oldest libraries in Europe-is to become a public convenience. The news has angered scholars, who argue that a place of learning should not become a place of toilet functions.
The Bod, as it is known, was founded in 1602, although its roots go back much further, back to the 14th century. However, in those days Oxford also had a plentiful supply of public toilets. Gradually these conveniences have been closed. The situation in Oxford is now said to be extremely worrying. Many walk the streets with a strange, cross-legged step, which only leads to dampness and puddles in the road.
The plan to turn the Bod into a public toilet comes from local politician Stig O'Treacy. "I love to read while sitting on the porcelain throne. I actually refuse to take the laxatives my doctor prescribed because I want to finish War and Peace. I love Tolstoy. He knew just how long it takes to squeeze the cheese. I thought why not turn a library into a toilet. We could all read while emptying our bowels."
The Bod is set to become the world's first reference toilet, something Oxford will be able to boast to rivals Cambridge for many years to come.