Library late-night hours

There are fewer spaces for New College students to work on projects and homework late at night, every year. The Starbucks on University Parkway is no longer open all night, leaving only Perkins restaurant for all-nighters. The Jane Bancroft Cook Library is only open until 1 a.m. on Sundays and weekdays. New College students are forced to get creative when it comes to finding a stable place to work.

“I do homework in my bedroom,” thesis student Sydnie Petteway said. “It is quiet in there. No one bothers me.”

Some students are able to adjust to the lack of study spaces by working in there dorms, but others complained that they did not like to work where they sleep.

It was harder for those who did not enjoy working alone, because students often live in small quarters where it is hard to hold many people.

“I do homework with my friends,” thesis student Dannie Benedi said. “It keeps me motivated. I used to do homework at Starbucks, but now I work there, so I haven’t worked there all year.”

Benedi explained that when it came to having a space to meet with others late at night, there was a lack of choices.

“If you are doing your work or you are working in a group, and then suddenly someone shows up and you have to go, that is a bit of a problem,” Brian Doherty, dean of the Jane Bancroft Library said.

The library has undergone changes in the last couple of years. It has and remains open to the public, but with that come certain challenges. Last semester, there was a rash of instances of thievery. During long study sessions, students would leave valuables such as laptops out, and on occasion they were stolen. The reaction on the part of the library, has been to hire security guards. These guards are not armed and cannot arrest anyone.

“[The security guard’s role] is to check around and make sure things are okay and that people are safe in the library,” Doherty said. “If anything does happen, they immediately contact the police.”

Although this has solved the thievery issue, now the library cannot be open late without the guards.

The guards are screened by the police to ensure that they work with an official security company. Through a company, the rate for a security guard is $15 per hour, Doherty explained.

“It’s by far the best rate we have been able to get,” Doherty said. “The security guard has worked out really well for us.”

The expenses for the guards are a part of why it is difficult to hold late-night library hours regularly, instead of just during finals and midterms, but Doherty explained that the largest cost would be funding a more permanent library staff. As of now, there is a mix of full time library, part-time workers, as well as part-time student workers.  Doherty also said that oftentimes students have changing schedules and cannot always spend long hours as student workers in the library. The solution would be hiring full-time employees, but funding a library that was open 24 hours would be expensive.

Doherty said that during finals and midterms the library is open from 1 a.m.-3 a.m. Student workers staff the library during the late night hours that are held during finals and midterms.

“That is paid directly by student government,” Doherty said.

 

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