Library to welcome all-night studying next semester

Frank Yonkof

Students who prefer to pull all-nighters will have a new place to study next semester when the University Library stays open 24 hours during the week.

The move comes after library officials received complaints from students who would like to see the building open at all hours of the night.

“The experiment this semester with staying open until 2 a.m. has been successful,” said James Bracken, dean of University Libraries at Kent State University. “We got letters saying, ‘Ohio University is open 24/5. Why aren’t you open? I’m paying the same.’”

Although the library will remain open 24 hours during the week, it will return to normal hours on the weekend come Friday night.

The extended hours will put Kent State’s library on par with other academic research libraries in the state that are open 24/5, including Miami University, University of Toledo and Ohio University. Ohio State University’s library is open 24/7.

“Students want to study when they want to study,” Bracken said. “Students who begin studying at 11 p.m., they don’t want to study until midnight and then go some place else. That’s why we stayed open until 2 a.m. And now we’re getting the same pressure.”

Bracken said the move also benefits commuter students, who sometimes line up early before the library opens to print papers before class.

The library will hire two full-time staff members to work the circulation desk on the third shift, with a salary of $27,000 each, said Assistant Dean Barbara Schloman. Two additional student security guards will be on duty as well.

While all floors will remain open at night, Bracken doesn’t anticipate security will become an issue.

“We don’t have security aids during the day,” Bracken said. “It’s the same size, and it’s just as inhabited on some of these floors during the day. This is a pretty quiet campus.”

He said the library might consider having students swipe their FlashCards to enter the building at night if security does become a problem.

Having the option to remain in the library all night is still safer than the alternative, said Cindy Kristof, head of the library’s access services.

“I almost think it’s better to have a 24-hour facility as opposed to something that’s open until 2 or 3 a.m.,” Kristof said. “You leave once 7 a.m. hits, and you feel safer going home.”

For now, students are looking forward to the extended hours.

“Not everyone has the same sleep schedule, so I guess it benefits some,” said Corbin Rispoli, senior paralegal studies major. “I have a few roommates that like to cram for tests and wait to the last day and stay up all night.”

Rispoli and classmate Brianna Dempe were studying for their Legal Research and Writing class, which requires them to use reference books that cannot be checked out from the library. The two agreed the extended hours might be nice, but they probably wouldn’t use them.

“I don’t think I’d be here until 4 a.m. or anything, but I can see how it would be convenient,” said Dempe, sophomore political science major.

Others are concerned the extended hours might not be such a good idea for students who are pronged to procrastination.

“I would use it,” said James Etienne, medical technology major, “but the only thing is it promotes all-nighters.”

Although the service will force the university to hire more librarians, the benefits outweigh the costs, said Bracken.

“People want more services, and quite frankly, it’s a good investment,” Bracken said. “We own the library 24 hours a day. Why can’t we have people in it 24 hours a day?”

Contact Frank Yonkof at [email protected].