Although the library will extend its hours the week before finals, students still struggle with the current year-round schedule.
According to the assistant dean for Learning and Service Outreach, Dr. Naomi Gold, the library will extend its hours from Sunday, April 27 through Tuesday, May 13 to accommodate students.
However, some students want to know why the library has not adopted a 24/7 schedule.
According to Student Government Association Senate Speaker Drew Holden, he teamed up with Dean of Libraries Dr. John Buschman in spring 2011 and coordinated research on the number of students using the library at various times during the day. “(We) found that, with the exception of finals, students don’t use the library all night,” Holden said. “The most stark drop-offs occur between 12 and 2. On average, we were seeing between three and six students who used the library in non-finals time between 2 and 8 a.m.”
The cost of extending library hours would be an additional $90,000 based on a study conducted eight years ago by a former Seton Hall librarian, Holden said.
In 2012, Buschman extended the hours during finals to a 24/7 schedule. According to Holden, “This past year, based on headcounts and student usage patterns, we also extended that to the week leading up to finals because we saw increased usage at that time.”
However, some students said they feel that because of the increased class sizes on campus, the usage of the library within the past two years has increased significantly.
According to junior Lumi Perez, the library should consider conducting another headcount study. “I think they should redo the headcount survey because there has been a major increase of student usage in the library since I was a freshman,” she said. “Now, I will go to the library around midnight and there will be nowhere to sit.”
Sophomore Zhanasia Johnson said: “I do think the library hours should be 24/7 just because students need a space where they can isolate themselves and study no matter what time it is. Taking into account the money, I think that if we were to adopt this schedule, we would have to be held accountable and increase tuition.”
Although the library is not opting for a permanent 24/7 schedule, that might change if there continues to be an increase of student library use past midnight.
“If the data supports extending hours in the future, I’ll be the first one to jump on the bandwagon for it, and I’m sure that Dean Buschman would be close behind me,” Holden said. “Unfortunately, right now, it doesn’t.”
Rachel Hassett can be reached at Rachel.email@example.com.