TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 14, 2004
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Now open late
Library to be open 24 hours during finals
Beginning May 2, the library will be open all day long for student use.

By Stacey Grant
Staff Reporter

Look out Denny’s, IHOP and Ol’ South.

As finals week approaches, students looking for a place to pull an all-nighter will soon have one on campus.

Starting May 2, the library will operate 24 hours for all of finals week. It was originally scheduled for the last two weeks of school.

In an e-mail sent to the student body March 30, Jay Zeidman, president of the Student Government Association, said SGA had secured 24-hour library service for the last two weeks of school. However, library staff said this statement had been published before it was finalized by the staff members.

June Koelker, associate university librarian, said they decided to have finals week as 24 hour because it was most critically needed. The details are still being worked out, she said.

“We feel our students and faculty have a need to be here and we want to meet those needs,” Koelker said.

It isn’t as easy as opening the doors to the library, Koelker said. Safety, cleanliness and employees are just a few of the issues still under consideration. Campus police will be watching the library through the night, she said.

The cost of keeping the library open is still being calculated, Koelker said. The main cost will come from the additional wages for police, employees, student staff and housekeeping services, she said.

Reference librarian Susan Hawk said the library staff is excited to give students a place to study that is open at any hour. The library has never been open 24 hours before, but the suggestion for extended hours has come up, Hawk said.

“We decided that the only way to find out if extended hours would work is to give it a try,” Hawk said.

Koelker said the need for 24-hour library service became apparent through student surveys.

“We’ve continued to add more library hours off and on for a few years,” Koelker said. “We’re trying to please the students.”

Hawk said students should be aware that even though the library will be open 24 hours, not all regular services will be available. Although, there will probably be a reference librarian and someone at the computer help desk always on duty, she said.

“It’s hard to have everything open all night,” Hawk said. “If students are just looking for a place to study or do computer stuff, they’ll be happy.”

Students will also be able to check out books or items on reserve, Koelker said.

Two or three students will volunteer for extra hours, Koelker said. Those that work from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. will likely receive additional compensation, she said.

Megan Jolley, a senior communication studies major, said she will definitely take advantage of the new library hours.

“I think it’s a great idea because now students can stay a lot longer than 1 a.m.,” Jolley said.

Jolley found out that the library would be open 24 hours from her mom who works at TCU, she said. The best part will be during finals week because students will be able to come in more than an hour before an 8 a.m. final to study, Jolley said.

“Sometimes it’s an inconvenience to not have the library open 24 hours,” she said. “It gets tough around crunch time when the computers and tables are all full.”

The turnstile that students walk through to enter the library will keep count of how many actually use the library during the times it is usually closed, Koelker said.

“This is an experiment for us,” Koelker said. “Through it, we will learn how to best meet students’ needs in the future.”

Library photo
Sarah Chacko/Photo Editor
The Mary Couts Burnett Library’s extended hours during finals week will allow late-night studiers extra time to cram for exams.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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