Hi, as a new student to VCU am very happy to what the school has to over to its students, it's just one major issue issue i have; which is the library hours on the weekend. As Allied Health students, we are in very intensive programs that requires longer hours of study in the weekdays or the weekend. Since I arrived to VCU this past August I been studying outside the school facilities to keep up with my classes demands, but lately its getting colder at night and that is making very suitable to catch a cold. I was told the school is having a budget issue this year and that why they cut the library hours to 6pm on Friday and Saturday. My suggestion is to have a building that is smaller than the library, but has a quiet areas, and some limited PCs for students to use, and should be in the school or very close to school for the fact this way our Females students can feel some security too. Am really hoping the hours get extend to at least 10 P.M. to allow us to be on the top of our school requirements. Thanks.
From: an undergraduate student
Librarians from the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and the James Branch Cabell Library reply...
Thank you for taking the time to contact us about your concern. We believe your comment is regarding James Branch Cabell Library hours, though your field is Allied Health. However, changes to library hours have occurred at both libraries, so we will address the two.
You are correct that library hours have changed and that Friday and Saturday evenings neither library is open. In developing a strategy for service changes to meet new budget targets, we factored in building use statistics as well as what students have indicated is of most importance to them - strong library collections and building hours. Based on these factors, building hours were, for the most part, protected, while other services were more heavily impacted. Library collections have also been protected.
The cuts to library hours at each building have been necessary, but limited to approximately one staff shift. At the Tompkins-McCaw Library the journal literature provides a foundation for learning, clinical practice and research. Less than 300 of its journal title subscriptions are available in print only. For the most part, its journals are available electronically. Because of this high penetration of electronic resources, this portion of the library is essentially available anywhere there is a computer with an Internet connection. With that in mind, other spaces on the MCV campus were identified that could provided the needed access when the library is closed.
On that campus, you have access to the Learning Center at Hunton Hall, which is open until 11pm each evening, except Sunday.
At Cabell Library, the cuts were made to Friday and Saturday evenings and with a slightly later opening on Sunday - all lower use hours. The heavily used weekday
hours, extending to 2am Sunday through Thursday, were preserved. Overall, the University is working hard to make the best possible decisions for VCU students to
ensure that the instructional mission of the University is met. As a result, students will continue to see access to the instructors, classes, and other support they need to meet their academic goals. An important factor in making decisions has been University support for the libraries work in acquiring the print and electronic books, journals, data resources, databases, multimedia, and other materials that students and faculty need for their academic work. This isn't the case at many other institutions in Virginia and elsewhere, so VCU students are very fortunate in that regard.
We do know that many students are impacted by the library changes, despite the care taken in planning them. We are taking all feedback into consideration, so your comments are very much appreciated. The administrative staff of the VCU Libraries have prioritized hours and services to be restored should any of our budget reductions be restored. As the university has also noted the need for new library space among its long-term building plans, your suggestions about a smaller separate space for off-hours study is well timed. Some universities have utilized this strategy and it will be among the possibilities considered at VCU, as well. Thank you for noting it as a possible strategy, and for your comments about security. We, too, are concerned about student safety and take it into careful consideration when we plan services and spaces.