Library draws end-of-semester crowd

Kimberly Laferty

With finals week just around the corner, it’s quite usual to find Kent State students frantically studying late at the the University Library, which is open 24 hours, Monday through Friday.

There are usually 25 to 100 students in the library at night, depending on the time of the semester, according to James Bracken, dean of University Libraries.

“What we find is either students studying alone because they want the peace and quiet of studying alone,” Bracken said. “or, we find study groups forming because they are (studying) the same thing and work as a group.”

Kelly Shook, director of Library Circulation Services, said there are a lot of students guests from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., but counts drop dramatically after 2 a.m.

“Each night has regular library guests who are in the library … but each night brings new guests who are in the library to do research, work on group projects, meet up with friends or just coming in to check out what the library has to offer,” Shook said.

Shook said she usually sees library guests studying, using their personal electronic devices, using library computers, visiting with friends, using the study rooms, using Media:scapes or working on group projects. She said some guests even take a naps on chairs, couches or bean bag chairs.

Although all floors are open around the clock, the floors most commonly used are one, two, and four, according to Shook.

Bracken said that because of the locations of the bathrooms and the stairs, escalator and the elevators, they cannot close off any single floor of the building without violating fire code. If they just opened up the side door to the quiet study area, there would be no water or bathroom access, he said. 

“So, actually there’s no way lock up any single floor in this building,” Bracken said.

Alexis Atwater, a freshman political science major, has come to the library around 12:50 a.m. to write a 12-page paper. Although she doesn’t come late to study, she does come to the library to write papers and to do homework, she said.

“To be honest, I’m usually pretty busy during the day,” Atwater said. “I just find it easier to study or do anything at night, so I kind of do all my daily activities and then figure well, sleep isn’t as important as doing all the papers and things I have to do.”

Atwater used the 10th floor, where she said she enjoys studying because not many people are on that floor. Atwater had also come with a friend, Mackenzie Kloepfer, a senior psychology major.

Kloepfer said she is usually at the library studying, but more typically during finals time. She said she comes to break away from her apartment or if she has a paper to write.

“I’m kind of a night owl,” Kloepfer said. “So, I think I do my best work at night … I’m also pretty busy during the day as well.”

Bracken said that although the library is open late, he’s amazed there has not been any vandalism problems.

“I’m very proud of my staff,” Bracken said. We’ve worked hard to make the place nice, comfortable and safe.”

There is a security guard who checks Kent State IDs after 11 p.m. and two guards who patrol the floors, Shook said. Late library staff also includes supervisors and student assistants, with different shifts provided around the clock.

“The library is a great place to study but it also has so much more to offer to students, faculty, staff and community members,” Shook said. “I would encourage everyone to come and check the University Libraries out.”

The University Library is the only library on campus that is open 24 hours, 5 days a week. Most of the other libraries on campus close around early evening, and most are closed on the weekends according the University Libraries website.

With finals week next week, hours for libraries will be changing soon, for more information on library hours, visit

Kimberly Laferty is the libraries reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected].