Keen students found their study schedules cramped when they returned to campus this September.
Last year, the D.B. Weldon Library was open from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, but this year its hours have been cut back. The library now closes at 9 p.m.
“We have shrinking resources,” Catherine Wilkins, assistant university librarian for D.B. Weldon Library, explained. The reduced hours were put in place after usage patterns at the libraries were reviewed.
“It makes it hard to get the things done that you want to get done here,” Jamie Lee, a first-year science student said. She noted she frequently had to go to other libraries on campus to finish her work.
In previous years, evening hours between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. experienced reduced usage up until Thanksgiving, according to Wilkins.
She cited the week before Thanksgiving last year saw less than 500 people in the library per night, as opposed to the 6,000 Weldon saw during the day. She noted Weldon was open the greatest number of hours of any library on campus.
“We’re shifting our resources to where the service demands are,” Wilkins explained. Other libraries coped differently because they had different usage patterns.
“There’s a lot of pressure on resources, so you really want to optimize and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Wilkins said.
Typically the later hours meant the circulation desk closed at 9 p.m. while the rest of the library was open as an academic study hall with security on patrol.
She noted the later hours would resume next week and Weldon will be open until 2 a.m. during the exam period.
Clair Callaghan, chief librarian at King’s University College Library, explained the library was open until midnight during September due to student demand.
“As long as the facility can support the students, we’re quite happy to have them.”
She explained King’s library received more funding for part-time staff, which allowed for longer hours. She didn’t know if more main campus students had been using King’s library, but expected to see an increase because of the longer hours offered on Sundays.
“We have the financial resources to keep the library open,” Callaghan explained, noting King’s administration thought it was very important to keep the library open.
Both the King’s Library and Weldon expressed an interest in being open for 24 hours during the exam period, but that decision will be made later in the month.