Students responding to extended library hours

Students+responding+to+extended+library+hours

Haleigh Earls

Reporter

 

The beginning of this academic year brought an extension in library hours at CSU Bakersfield. The later hours provide students with a place to study Sunday through Thursday until 1 a.m.

Dean of the Library Curt Asher said that, for years, librarians and staff have wanted to accommodate the strong student desire for longer hours.

“In very early 2012, when a student volunteer conducted on a series of campus interviews about the library for me with dozens of students, the number one request was for longer hours,” Asher said.

The Associated Students Inc. and other student groups on campus have continuously expressed students’ desire to be able to study late and have lobbied for longer library hours.

“The library is the place that provides students with a safe and welcoming alternative to some of the other places where students try to study,” Asher said.

With the resources the library has available to students, such as group study rooms and quiet places to study individually, student response to these hours has been incredibly positive.

“The staff has been overwhelmed by praise from late night studiers for being open to accommodate them,” Asher said.

“I love the late library hours. I go to work, come to class, and still have hours to study by myself or with friends in the library,” said senior business major Bryan Blackmon.

“One woman, a mother, with a full time job, told one of our staffers that if it wasn’t for these hours, she wouldn’t be able to get her school work done,” Asher said.

“I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be happy with later library hours,” said freshman liberal studies major Hannah Simpson. “It’s nice to be able to study for an exam or write a paper in a quiet place outside of my noisy house until 1 a.m. if I need to.”

Library traffic has been extremely high during the late hours. The numbers for just the first few weeks of this quarter have been even higher.

“Our highest nightly total for fall for the extended hours was 541 students.  During the last four weeks it ranged from 173 to 541,” Asher said.

While the library is not open at later hours on the weekends, the traffic from the extended hours during weeknights proves that a large number of students are utilizing these late hours. Funding for permanent extended hours has been requested.

“There are many needs for funding on campus and the library is only one of them, so we can’t be certain. We are hopeful and fairly confident given the student interest that the late night hours will remain,” Asher said.