Library ends 24-hour week

For the last four years, students have camped out in Waterfield Library for all-night study sessions during finals week. This year, the all-nighters in the library end at 3 a.m.

While dealing with campus-wide budget cuts, the University library is shutting its doors from 3 to 7 a.m. during finals week. These hours are saving the University almost $6,000.

The full 24-hour service for two weeks costs around $3,000 per semester, while the extended hours schedule only cost $500, which the University Libraries will pay in full.

The Student Government Association developed a proposal to extend the library hours from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. The money to operate during the extended hours is coming from University Libraries.

Several proposals were made to find an option that satisfied students and the budget task force. One option was to defer the cost of keeping the library open to the Campus Activities Board, another was to allow for extended hours.

Dean of University Libraries Adam Murray said he has data showing around 3 a.m., the number of students using Waterfield decreases greatly.

“We found that there were less than 100 students utilizing the library between the hours of 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.,” Murray said.

Jessica Jacobs, junior from Brookport, Ill., said the library hours being cutback will affect her studying because she said she feels more confident by reviewing the material prior to the exam; all-nighters work well for her.

“Although ideally it’s nice to have sleep, I always feel more confident if I review information until right before the exam,” Jacobs said. “This will affect my studying in the fact that I’m still going to feel the need to pull all-nighters. However, instead of being in my study zone, I will have to interrupt my focus to move to another location.”

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said studies show students who get sleep before an exam perform better than students who cram all night, so he is hoping the extended hours will encourage students to get some sleep instead of staying in the library all night.

Jeremiah Johnson, SGA president, said the Senate passed the proposal to extend library hours so students would have some form of extended hours during finals.

“We do understand it might not benefit every student, but it’s a start and it is way better than not having extended hours at all,” Johnson said. “I strongly encourage students to use the library during finals, because with declining use in that early morning timeframe, it will be hard for future SGAs to lobby the administration to keep the building open for extended hours.”

Julia Hilkey, SGA vice president and president of CAB, said if they were to keep Waterfield Library open for 24 hours during dead week and finals week, it would cost $6,000 of CABs budget.

“Those are dollars that come from students’ activities fees,” Hilkey said. “We didn’t think that it was right to use all of our students’ money to service less than 10 percent of our student body.”

Hilkey said Lee Clark Residential College will open its study lounges and the Curris Center open during those hours to convenience those students who would be in the library.

“Students seem to care very little,” Hilkey said. “We have a few irate senators, but for the most part, I think the students realize they can find other places to study.”

Finals week begins Dec. 9 and ends Dec. 13. Extended library hours will also take place the week before finals.


Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor