Delaney promises to extend Library hours

Spinnaker

President John Delaney promised to fund additional Library opening hours as a response to Student Government’s efforts to extend the Library’s availability – a promise made in the fall campaign of the Red Party.

The Library will now be opened Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 a.m.

Fridays and Saturdays remain unchanged.

After receiving the funding, the Library’s new schedule will start Jan. 20 and will create an additional 12 hours each week.

“The usage needs to justify the extra costs, so we will monitor the amount of usage for the next few months to make sure we are using the money for the biggest benefit,” Delaney said.

Beginning fall 2008, the Library’s budget was reduced by about $30,000, which forced the library to cut late-night hours, said Rob Waltner, head of Access Services.

“The cost of keeping the Library opened includes personnel that must be present during opening hours,” Waltner said. “Three people from Sunday through Thursday between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. costs thousands of dollars.”

The Library’s decision to cut those particular hours was a result of data collected at the Library entrance.

Laser systems installed at the door indicated there was an average of 26 people per hour during the late night hours.

“Is it efficient to keep the Library opened for 26 people on average?” Waltner said.

The same data could have been interpreted a different way, said SG Treasurer Mark Smith. SG created and conducted an online survey to explore the students’ opinion on the issue.

“We have gotten an overwhelming response of more than 500 people who indicated that they would prefer the Library hours to be changed,” Smith said. “They were stopping by at the office, emailing us and calling us.”

Based on the data from the survey, Library employees met with SG several times, and  reviewed a proposal to increase late night hours and decrease weekend hours.

“The proposal requires more funding,” Waltner said.  “If we have the money, we’d be glad to pay even for the 26.”

E-mail Andrea Farah at [email protected]