Starting Jan. 11, Durick Library will be open from 7:15 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday through Thursday.
The library is currently open until midnight. According to a 2008 library student survey, 40 percent of respondents wanted the library open later, said John Payne, director of library and information services.
Extra hour celebrated
The atmosphere in the library between 11 p.m. and midnight on Dec. 2 was tense as students occupied all three floors, studying and preparing for classes.
A 2006-2007 analysis of hourly use of the library showed that a number of students are forced to leave the library because of closing hours, supported through gate count figures, Payne said.
Payne prepared a proposal for President Neuhauser, Vice President of Academic Affairs Karen Talentino and other members of the administration for the extension of library hours. The request did not meet any resistance, so it has been met, he said.
Typically, 80 students use the library after 10 p.m., and based on the given trends, Payne estimates that there will be approximately 10 students in the library until 1 a.m.
Currently the peak times for library use are between 2-4 p.m. and 8-10 p.m.
Respondents in the 2008 library student survey were 78 percent in favor of establishing a study area open 24 hours a day, and 73 percent in favor of the extension of library hours.
Senior Joe Palatucci spends several nights studying in the library during the week and usually leaves no earlier than 10:30 p.m., he said.
Students in support
“I’ve closed the library a lot this semester,” Palatucci said. “The extension of library hours would be helpful especially during exam time.”
Data provided by Payne indicated that compared with colleges such as Merrimack, Stonehill, Middlebury and the University of Vermont, library hours at Durick fall short of the average. Durick Library is open 99.75 hours a week, while the average for other libraries is 105, Payne said. The extension of weeknight hours to 1 a.m. would take Durick to 104.75 hours.
Mike Arena, senior circulation specialist, has been working at the library since 1994 and has worked a variety of weekday, weekend and night shifts. He will begin covering the night shift when the hours change.
Work study students on board
“From the late ’90s into 2001, the library was merged with Information Technology and used to be open till 2 a.m.,” Arena said. “There was even a time during exam week that we opened for 24 hours. It’ll be fun. There’s a different pace at night,” Arena said.
While the supervisor shift will be covered, more work-study students will be needed, Arena said. The library has 53 work-study students, 44 of whom work at the circulation desk.
Work-study student Colin Thompson normally works until midnight and thinks the extension of library hours is great, he said. “I have no problem working until 1 a.m. if that’s what students want,” he said.