The library will be open 24 hours a day, from 9 a.m. Sundays to 10 p.m. Fridays, beginning the third week of the fall 2007 semester, according to Acting University Librarian Diana Vogelsong.
Students have long demanded for the library be open 24 hours, and the library listened, she said.
“[This is] just one example of how we try to be responsive to students’ needs, and we hope that students find it a useful service,” she said.
Another reason for the change is because the library has more computers than any of the computer labs on campus. Also, the library’s software is comparable to that found in the Anderson Computing Complex, according to a library press release
The longer hours will “give students a quiet place to study that’s outside of their residence hall but easily accessible,” Vogelsong said.
The extension of hours will not begin until next fall so the library has time to address logistical details such as hiring, staffing and security, Vogelsong said.
When the library begins the new schedule, the Anderson Computing Complex will close at night and resources will be shifted to the library, Vogelsong said.
Students said their studies will benefit from the change.
“It’s an excellent idea,” Tess Nowadly, a freshman in the School of International Service and School of Communication., said. “I don’t start my homework until 2 a.m., and then I need somewhere to go. It’s kind of hard to study in the dorms.”
One concern with the new hours was security, as the number of people accessing the library has risen recently, Vogelsong said. Although the library does not make visitors sign in as they enter, some of the users include community members, high school students, scholars and neighbors, she said.
Student Government President Ashley Mushnick said she has seen a rise in students’ use of the library this year, and said she thought the increased hours would “do a lot for the library’s reputation in general.”
The overnight periods will be for student use only. To enforce this, Vogelsong said the entire library will be emptied at midnight and students will then need to swipe their AU ID cards to re-enter.
Although it will be “somewhat inconvenient,” it is necessary for security, she said.
Students said that while the swiping may be annoying, it is important for security.
“If that’s what they need to do, its fine,” said Rachel Bacon, a senior in College of Arts and Sciences.
Mushnick was a proponent of extending library hours during her presidential campaign last spring and applauded the library for their efforts.
“I think the library was very accepting of the fact that its becoming an important part of how AU students function,” Mushnick said.
Students reacted very positively when informed of the extended hours.
“I’ve always thought in some ways, the university encourages drinking on the weekends, because you can’t come and study,” said Lauren Tucker, a senior in SIS. “It loses the academic focus.”
Both Nowadly and Bacon said most universities around the country have libraries that are open 24 hours.
“Its stupid that it closes early,” Bacon said. “If you want to do work, it’s a good place [to go].”