29 October 2012
Library 24/7: To Be Or Not To Be Open
Many universities in today’s society have their share of problems, but sometimes the problems affect the students even more. At Shawnee State University (SSU), and other schools as well, the students tend to struggle on many issues. Some students have problems with fighting diversity that schools try to maintain. Others have issues with rising tuition rates and other fees that make college hard to afford. Deciding whether to live on or off campus, which classes to take, or even deciding to get a job or not, but I think one major problem that lies within especially SSU’s policies are the hours of our library. School libraries are made to serve the student, allowing them to work in peace and quiet on homework, projects, research, and other school activities, which should not change during any time of the day. If we ask students if they are able to finish his/her work in the allotted time, one may say, “Sure, of course, the library helps me to complete my work,” which may be great, but what about the students that do not get their work completed before the library closes? What are they to do?
For some universities around America, keeping the library available to the students whenever necessary is not a problem. At schools like the University of Tennessee, the Ohio State University, Duke, Kent State and many other schools have libraries open 24/7. As mentioned before, the policies that the libraries support should not change throughout the day just because it becomes late. At SSU, the hours of Clark Memorial Library are actually quite pathetic. Every weekday, it opens at 8am. Monday through Thursday it closes at 11pm and on Friday, it closes at a disappointing 5 pm. On Saturdays, the shortest period in the entire week where one can access the library, it opens at 10am and closes early again at 6pm. Sunday it opens at noon and closes at midnight, making this the latest opening time and latest closing time (SSU website). Overall, the weekly library hours are open to a grand total of 89 hours. That may seem like a lot, but compare to the total hours if it were open all day, every day, this would be an astounding 168 hours. Think of all the extra time for students and teachers that would allow them to work longer and more efficiently on assignments, making more use of the school’s facilities; and not to mention, longer library hours could only benefit the students’ grades.
I personally have experienced the effects of the short library hours first hand. One Thursday evening I was in the library and I was not even there an hour yet when I was forced to pack up and leave. It was shocking that they made us leave so early. My schedule that day consisted of classes from 2:00-7:30pm and then I participate in a campus ministry group at 8:00 and it ends somewhere close to 10:00. Leaving the library before I was finished meant that I had to finish it in my room. This would not be such a disappointment if the people that lived with me were not so loud, but unfortunately I live with a group of partiers, so my room makes a difficult place to get any work done. The reason I go to the library is to study and get work done. The next morning at 8:00, we had a short response paper due; I struggled to finish in the environment I was left in. I had to realize the hard way that the library would not even let me print off that paper until after 8am making me late for my first class. If the students do not have access to a printer or computer outside the library, where are they supposed to get their things finished if the library opens and closes at such absurd times? The price of college today makes it more difficult for students to be able to afford things like laptops and printers and even the faculty may not have laptops and such because the library is supposed to provide them, but its hours make it very unreliable. Are the students just to do...
Cited: Curry, A. "Opening Hours: The Contest between Diminishing Resources and a 24/7 World." TheJournal of Academic Librarianship 29.6 (2003): 375-85. Print.
Laaker, Sarah. "Keeping the Doors Open: Exploring 24-Hour Library Access at Washington University in St. Louis." Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts with Full Text. EBSCO, Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/detail?vid=2&hid=5&sid=c65aaa20-40fd-417f-85fb- c626760b49da%40sessionmgr4&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU%3d#db=lih&AN= 70050475>.
Schuker, Daniel J. T. "Students Demand Longer Library Hours." The Harvard Crimson. N.p., 5 Jan. 2005. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2005/1/5/students-demand-longer- library-hours-when/>.
Shawnee State University Website.
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