Imperial War Museums (IWM) has decided against imposing a charge for using its research room, a controversial measure it had mooted earlier in the year as part of a cost-saving package of cuts. However it is to introduce a "voluntary donation scheme" for those who use the library for "profit-making output", which includes books.
The cutbacks follow a cut to the museum group's government grant in aid, which has left it with a deficit of £4m. Original proposals covered closing the IWM London library, slashing education services and making up to 80 people redundant.
In February, IWM said that though redundancies would take place, the number of people affected would be lower than originally thought. No final number has yet been confirmed.
The February announcement also said that though the library would stay open, a "'nominal charge" would be introduced for people using the research room. That has now been scrapped. However, a fee for a digital photo permit will be introduced, while IWM also said: "IWM will also be looking to introduce a voluntary donation scheme in the future to encourage those who use IWM’s research services for profit-making output (such as films, television scripts and books) to contribute and help IWM to ensure that the research room and associated expertise remains free for everyone."
The research room, which was previously open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday by appointment, is now open for only four days a week.