Hitting the books after hours: library to stay open longer

Next fall, studying on campus will be much more convenient for students.

The Melvin J. Zahnow Library is working to extend its hours of operation with the help of Student Association.

The originally projected hours are Monday – Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to midnight; Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to midnight.

“By providing access to the library for longer hours, students will be able to have a place on campus that they can have a quiet, safe and ultimately effective place for them to study, work on research and provide a space for group work and collaboration,” said political science and criminal justice senior Tyler Manning, who serves as Student Association ombudsman and is a delegate on the library committee.

The library is trying to work out the details of two issues: security and managing workers’ hours.

Since the library will be opened for extended hours with fewer workers, Manning said they are planning on installing security cameras in the stairwell. Workers on the first floor will be able to monitor the camera feeds.

Student Association will be providing funds to help offset the cost of the equipment and installation.

The library is also working on determining how the extra hours will be distributed between student workers and full-time employees.

Manning said at minimum, the first floor of the library will be open during the extended hours. However, based on how students use the additional hours, the second floor might also be opened.

Working towards extending the library’s hours has required significant preparation.

“It has taken a lot of research focusing on when students use the library, what they are using the library for and when the times are that seem to have the most traffic, and then providing longitudinal research to show how this has progressed over the years,” Manning said.

Extending the library’s hours was an idea that had already been under consideration, and Student Association pursued working with the library on it due to increased student interest.

“Throughout the years, and especially this year, we have been seeing from students a growing concern for the hours of the library to be extended so that students have a central location on this campus to study,” Manning said. “We chose to get involved because as representation of the student body, we wanted to advocate a significant change that would be beneficial for all students.”

Manning that despite issues such as security that require solutions, the extended hours should still be happening.

“We are still on track and are excited for the new library hours to start in fall 2014,” he said. “We hope that the students are excited, as well.”

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