Extended library hours began Monday as a lead-up into finals week and will continue until 1 a.m. next Friday.
This is the third semester the library will operate on a 24/7 schedule to allow students the opportunity to prepare for finals.
The library food cart will have extended hours as well during finals week starting the Sunday before finals. The cart will remain open until 2 a.m. and free coffee will be provided courtesy of Dining Services from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. through Wednesday night.
Opening Waterfield Library for 24-hour service started as a request from then Student Government Association President Kirby O’Donoghue, Adam Murray, dean of University Libraries, said. O’Donoghue and a group of student senators met with Murray to discuss extended hours for Waterfield Library and the costs associated with remaining open, he said.
“From there, I worked with Kim Oatman in Facilities Management to come to an arrangement on providing coverage for the building during the hours when the libraries’ Public Services faculty and staff are not on duty,” he said.
They also worked with the director of archives and special collections in Pogue Library to extend the operating hours for Pogue during that same two-week window, he said.
The library keeps an hourly floor count of how many people are in Waterfield Library for two reasons: safety, and for general interest in how the facility is utilized, Murray said.
“We’ve noticed a fairly sizable number of students occupying Waterfield during late hours, with a maximum of around 200 people in the building on the Sunday before the week of finals,” he said.
Student workers at the library noted students use the library’s late hours for different reasons.
“Some people come and stay overnight for fun, we had a group of girls come and have a sleepover,” Carla Hatler, senior from Bandana, Ky., said. “People start sitting on the floor when the tables start to become full; it does stay pretty crowded.”
The motivation behind the 24/7 library hours was to extend student access to the library resources and technology at all hours of the day, particularly during the peak times such as midterms and finals, former SGA Senator At-Large Michael Shepherd, junior from Bardstown, Ky., said.
“Most campuses have 24-hour library hours for these times, and many throughout the entire semester,” Shepherd said. We just wanted Murray State students to have the same, if not better, opportunities as students from other schools.”
Many students find the extended hours to be a great asset to their studying and to the completion of class projects.
“It’s beneficial to have extended library hours especially for group work and getting studying done for finals,” Jonathon Headford, graduate student from Louisville, Ky., said.
Other students said they enjoy the atmosphere the library provides for them to study.
Said Lori Meadors, senior from Evansville, Ind.: “If I was in my room I would probably fall asleep but if I’m in the library it’s motivation to stay awake and study.”