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Library open 24 hours

Aaron Steiner | Thursday, October 12, 2006

Students cramming for midterms have a new place to take their late night studies this week.

For the first time during fall midterms week, the Hesburgh Library is open 24 hours to offer students an around the clock work space.

The extended hours, which end Friday, are a result of the efforts of the Academic Affairs Committee of Student Senate.

Academic Affairs committee chair Jim Grace said the idea “had been bounced around Student Senate” for some time, and last year members of student government initiated contact with the Library to pursue the initiative.

The Senate passed a resolution last January that asks for increased hours during midterms and throughout the year, which resulted in the Library’s increased hours during the unofficial spring 2006 midterms week.

While the Library has offered extended hours during finals for several years, Grace said the Senate thought midterms were also an important study time.

“Midterm week seems to be more hectic,” he said, noting that students’ schedules do not change at this time of the year as they do during finals to accommodate for additional study time.

Last year Grace presented the idea to Nigel Butterwick, the Hesburgh Library’s associate director for user services, and he said the administration was very receptive.

“The Library was very willing to work with us and was open to our ideas,” he said. “[Butterwick] mentioned that it would be feasible to be open during midterms week.”

Grace said the possibility of having extended hours throughout the year was discussed, but for now Library officials believe midterms would be the best time to offer such hours.

“We acknowledge that students want to study during the hours before exams,” Butterwick said, while noting the increase of traffic during midterm and finals week.

“We would expect far more students to be using [the Library] during those hours.”

Butterwick could not provide official data on the increase of students during this week, but both Grace and Butterwick said they feel this week’s extended hours have been well-utilized by students.

“I think they should do it all the time,” said freshman Maria Cardoso, who said she “will probably be in the library until 6 a.m.” Tuesday evening.

Freshman Tim Boland said “they usually have to kick us out of here at 2 a.m.,” so having the extended hours is appreciated.

The Hesburgh Library plans to be open 24 hours a day during midterms week in the future. Butterwick said the Library will evaluate data on how it is used during midterms this week when planning extended hours in the spring.

“We want to tailor it to … the study patterns of students,” he said.