Everyone wants 24 hour library -how hard is it to figure that out?!
Interim Associate University Librarian for Public Services Barbara Anderson replies.....
It's not hard at all to figure this one out! Students have been loud and clear in their request for Cabell Library to be open 24 hours a day, and we are delighted by such avid and enthusiastic library users!
By now, I hope you will have noticed that we are conducting a 3-week trial this semester called Library Lite All Nite in which we are open with limited library services for 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. It is quite an expensive and complicated proposition to keep a large facility like Cabell Library open around the clock. During these 3 weeks we will be assessing costs, staffing and service issues, and we will be looking closely at the extent to which students are using the library for study and research overnight. Whether we are able to continue offering 24-hour building hours during future semesters or exam periods will depend on what we learn from this year's Library Lite All Nite experiment and on the library's 2005/06 funding.
One comment that we hear frequently from students runs something like this: "Other schools have 24 hour libraries, why not us?" This is a true statement, but it is also true that very few schools comparable to VCU offer this service. Among Virginia's doctoral institutions, only the University of Virginia has a 24-hour library facility and that is its separate undergraduate library (Clemons). UVA's main library, Alderman, is actually open fewer hours than Cabell Library as are the main libraries of all other public universities in the Commonwealth!
Among the 24 universities considered to be VCU's peer institutions, only 2 (University of Arizona and University of Kentucky) keep their main libraries open 24 hours throughout the semester, and 4 additional institutions offer 24 hour service during exam periods, but only for 1 week. Only 5 of the peer institution libraries are open as late as Cabell Library's normal 2 a.m. closing.