Loss of 24/5 schedule for Mabee affecting students’ studying

Students work in the library during the daytime.

Mark Feuerborn

Washburn University’s Mabee Library enacted changes to its hours this Fall 2015 semester, including the removal of the facility’s 24 hour operation during the school week, a change that has affected students’ ability to study late at night.

Announced towards the end of the Spring 2015 semester, Alan Bearman, the Dean of University Libraries, cited financial reasons as the cause behind the need to alter the 24/5 schedule.

“It cost us, this year, about $23,000 to stay open 24/5, and like every other unit on campus, we face budget constraints,” said Bearman, last semester.

Starting this semester, the library changed its hours of operation to run Monday through Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The library’s old 24/5 schedule, which started in January of 2014, was only available for three semesters before being changed this semester.

Bearman also acknowledged that he was aware this might negatively impact students, though it is now in the fall semester that one gets to see the effects of those changes. Some students, such as sophomore and Village resident Emily Smyth, have not had any problems with the library’s new schedule.

The change in the library hours has not affected my study time, I usually don’t go after 2 [more than] once or twice a semester,” said Smyth.

Other students (more commonly the ones who regularly used the library late into the night last year) are more concerned. Indigo Wilson-Schmidt, a returning sophomore and Village resident, expressed her frustration with the library’s new hours.

“The schedule change has made me a lot more stressed out about being able to study, because I can’t just go and stay until my homework is done. I visited Mabee after 11 p.m. probably twice a week last year,” said Wilson-Schmidt.

Demarcus Bennett, sophomore and West resident, said that he didn’t utilize the library’s 24/5 schedule very often, though he sympathized with students who used it more often.

“Thus far, it hasn’t really affected me all that much, but when I actually do need to be at the library at a later time, it kind of does ruin my schedule. The library’s a go-to when you need to do things like print…or maybe find a book or two, so that can be a hassle, and I can see how that could cause some issues,” said Bennett.

While students seem understanding of budget constraints, many are frustrated with the library’s early closing on Thursday mainly for still being during the school week.

“I know they had to make some cuts obviously, but maybe not the library, maybe something that was a little less used,” said Bennett.

“I wish that they would change it by making it open until 2 a.m. on Thursdays as well, or have it open at 6 a.m. [on Friday],” said Wilson-Schmidt.

Although the library no longer runs on a 24/5 schedule during the semeseter, it will still be open 24 hours a day during success week and finals week.