Mabee library no longer 24 hours

Kenzie McCoy

Starting in the 2015 fall semester, Mabee library will no longer be open 24 hours a day.

Mabee will continue being open for 24 hours during success week and finals week.

Budget constraints are the reason behind the library hour decrease, but Alan Bearman, dean of university libraries and the center for student success and retention, isn’t thrilled with the decision he had to make.

“In the fall semester, we’re going to go back to our traditional hours,” Bearman said. “It cost us, this year, about $23,000 to stay open 24/5, and like every other unit on campus, we face budget constraints. We’ve looked at our budget and we’ve had to cut a number of things: journals, databases, we’ve reduced our book budget, and we didn’t want to cut something that would impact students so directly, but we’re running out of easy cuts. This was a hard one, because we know this decision impacts students.”

Mabee will reduce its 24/5 hours to being open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m, starting next semester. This change will not only greatly affect students who enjoy studying at the library in the late evening hours, but will also affect the student workers who were previously able to work longer, overnight shifts. Bearman said that at 2 a.m., the library usually sees around 100 students studying, and that number begins to drop to around 15 students from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.

“This was a fiscal decision on our part,” said Bearman. “We’re pretty disappointed; it’s not something we wanted to do. We think there’s a lot of value in 24/5. Students have used 24/5 more than I ever expected they would.”

Andrea Leon, the circulation manager at Mabee, says that she now has a lot less hours to staff the student workers, but she thinks this hour reduction will do more good than harm for them.

“There’s a high turnover rate [of Mabee student workers] because it’s really rough on them to work overnight,” Leon said. “Some people would get sick because the late hours were too much. [The late night shifts] are stressful on students because they’re trading sleep for [work]. I want people to still have a job, but now there are fewer hours, so that will be my dilemma.”

When asked about students’ reactions to the hour change, Bearman said that he hasn’t received much feedback because he doesn’t think many students are aware of the change yet.

“I’m fine [with the hour reduction],” said Krista Kubie, Mabee writing tutor. “A lot of people just study at home.”

Senior mass media major Jessica Ferguson said she also isn’t going to be affected by the change because she always goes to Mabee during the day. 

Other students and student workers have voiced their concern with the change.

“As someone who often uses the library [after 11 p.m.], I think they should continue to stay open 24 hours,” said Sarah Watts, a junior social work major. “I think it’s more convenient for students if it’s open 24 hours.”

Dolores Villegas, a student worker at Mabee, says that she wishes the library would stay open until 1 or 2 a.m. so that she wouldn’t ever feel rushed to leave. She thinks it’s important for students to come to the library, get away from distractions, and work on homework.

“As [students] start to find out, if they want to come in to [Mabee] and talk about it, we want to talk about it, and they want to come brainstorm with us and find out what all our options are, we’re happy to do that,” Bearman said. “For associate dean Sean Bird and I, this isn’t something we wanted to do, but you have to make the best worst decision sometimes and we thought this was the best worst decision.”