24/5 Access to the Library

Students who need a quiet study environment might be frustrated with our PSU library hours: open until 11 pm Sundays through Thursdays and until 7 pm Fridays through Saturdays. Although the library is open the majority of the day and has extended hours during finals week, some students feel the library should be open 24 hours. Elizabeth Ontiveros, a senior at PSU, thinks that extending the hours to 24/5 would be a good idea that would benefit “students who are working, have families, and need a place to work on group projects.”

Oregon State University recently changed their library hours to 24/5. According to an OSU reference librarian, students have found the change in hours helpful. “Our student association pushed for us being open 24/5 and helped secure funding from the Provost for the library to be able to do this. Students have really appreciated it and there is regular traffic during the late night/early morning hours. However, I don’t think it should be mandatory. Each campus has to learn what its student population wants and deal with the additional funds it takes to keep buildings open 24 hours: library staff, security staff, janitorial staff, utility costs…these things are not free.”

There are many factors as to why our campus library hasn’t extended it hours. Michael Bowman, Interim Assistant University Librarian for Public Services Library, mentioned that the cost of having the library open 24/5 would be about $100,000 a year. Therefore, we need a budget larger than that to provide those services. He also mentioned that they do consider extending the hours periodically. They are currently working on a summer group to estimate how much money is needed and whether they would approach an external body for funding or drop something else in order to shift means for the next fiscal year. Besides the budget “the difference between OSU and PSU extending their hours is that the percentage of students living on campus at OSU is much larger than those at PSU” Bowman says.

Having the library open 24/5 would not be an easy task, but it has been beneficial to OSU students. Kristin Chase, a sophomore at OSU, has found the new library hours very useful. “I believe that having a 24-hour library is not only helpful but critical for many students’ success at a university. Every student has different study styles and needs. Since most major universities have this, OSU is right in having one as well.”

I think that if our library’s hours were extended like other universities, it would become more accessible for students to study and work on projects late into the night. Do you think our library should extend its hours?

26 thoughts on “24/5 Access to the Library

  1. Dustin Robinson says:

    No, we shouldnt change it to 24/5. Not only would it cost more, but what about the students who work during the week and need the library on weekends?

    At a time when budgets are slim, there is no need to be expaning expenses.

  2. Erin says:

    Reality check people: PSU is located in downtown Portland. None of us wants our library to become a sleeping shelter. Without keycard access, a 24 hour library is pretty pointless.

  3. Aaron says:

    And why would keycard access be a problem? It’s what we do in the Engineering Building. PSU already gives out photo RFID cards to many students, for engineering building access, housing, and other stuff. As a CS student I can waltz over to the engineering building or fourth avenue building at 2am if I like and hop into a 24/7 lab or find some tables and power through projects with people. It’s great. I’d love to see the library follow suit.

  4. Hannah says:

    I understand the hesitancy to have the library open 24/5, but I think that the library should at the very least be open until midnight Sunday-Thursday. The number of online classes is increasing at PSU and many if not most of these classes have midnight due times for assignments, quizzes and tests. Often I spend all day studying for a quiz in the library and then have to leave at 11 to take the quiz at home. This is stressful for me as a student and negatively affects my academic success.

  5. Laurie says:

    I’m frustrated at the lack of study places on Friday and Saturday evenings – computer labs *and* the library are closed at 7. Working students like me could really use the extra hours on those weekend evenings (and Sunday mornings before noon, for cryin’ out loud). I think PSU students can use the 24 hour library at Reed, can’t we? It’s pretty far out there in SE, but it is an option. Maybe I should change my major to CS so I can work on weekend nights too!

  6. CJW says:

    I am a grad student at PSU and did my undergrad at a university with and 24/5 library. I was surprised and disappointed when I found out that PSU doesn’t offer the same. With outside activities and work, I often don’t start my evening studying until 8 or 9, leaving me only a few hours to study at the library. I understand that budgets are tight so extending the hours would be a reasonable option.

    In response to an earlier post, security wasn’t a problem because student IDs were checked at the door starting at ten, and trust me, there is a significantly greater homeless population there than in Portland.

    • Atziri Sanchez says:

      Thanks for your comment! It’s great to hear that having the library open 24/5 has been valuable and successful. I definetly think it’s something that PSU students, especially those living on-campus, would appreciate and use.

  7. Amy says:

    Concordia University Portland, despite its small campus and student body, manages to keep the library open through 1 a.m. (10 p.m. during summer) to the students and general public alike (CU takes its mission of being a “good neighbor” very seriously, including free library cards for anyone who lives in Concordia area) and neither the sky has fallen nor did it create a chaos. A minimal federal work-study employees (two usually) generally cover all staffing needs.

    While CU is a residential campus, the library is still pretty quiet late at night, perhaps precisely because it is a residential campus and on-campus Internet access covers all residential halls, which also gives the same kind of access to databases and subscribed online resources as does the library. So unless you really need to look at a book, you can pretty much stay in your room or at a study room at the residential halls.

    Maybe a cheaper alternative is to establish a smaller study room/mini-library branch inside a residential hall such as Broadway or Ondine, capitalizing on the existing security and human presence, and provide full access to digital collections and some limited reference materials in book form. Since the floor space would be smaller, it would take less human resources and is much easier to manage. This also brings up a question of whether a university as big as PSU needs more than one library. The University of Washington Seattle, for instance, has several libraries, Suzallo for undergraduate general use, and many others for various specialized departmental and post-graduate uses.

    • Dustin Robinson says:

      Concordia has a fraction of the amount of students as PSU and they are a private college.

      PSU is a state college. And just like all things that are ran by the government, it is horribly inefficient with its budget. What PSU can do with one dollar, it would take CU ten cents. If PSU were to expand hours, lots of money would need to be spent.

      • Amy says:

        So, are you suggesting that the solution would be either:

        1. Ban PSU employee unions, Wisconsin-style

        or

        2. Privatize the library, California-style

        ?

        Perhaps it’s time to get rid of golden toilet seats and start talking about efficiency — it will help rein in the out-of-control tuitions, too.

      • Dustin Robinson says:

        You are giving two options when there is no problem. The problem would be to go to 24/5. Then we would start needing solutions.

        And, for your information, I think the entire education system should be privatized. Not only would it be cheeper for Americans, but kids would learn things too!

  8. Amy says:

    Actually, until several years ago the Branford P. Millar Library was open 24 hours during a week leading to the final exams. I think CPSO was posted at the door between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. to address the so-called “security concerns.”

    But in any case, we ought to seriously address the issue of classism and bumophobia, just as we as society has evolved out of racism and homophobia. It beats me that the first and perhaps the only thing some of these posters of earlier feedbacks have thought when reading this article was this fearsome specter of bums encroaching upon the hallowed university grounds as though they are some evil parasites. I might recall that only 70 years ago, this same very topic would have brought up the “concern” about black students entering the library late at night. Why should bumophobia be any more acceptable or tolerated than racism, sexism, Islamophobia or Antisemitism?

    • Atziri Sanchez says:

      Thanks for your insights Amy. You bring up some good points. And yes I believe Miller was 24/5 about 7 years ago. Unfortunately they cut hours a second time just last year. I think students could really use 24/5 access.

  9. Vinh says:

    I think the library should be open until midnight from Sunday till Thursday and keep the same schedule for Fridays and Saturdays.

    One thing that is important is smoking policy. I strongly believe that the whole campus should be smoke free. The area in front of the library is always filled with cigarette butts and that is very dirty and drives many patrons away. I would definitely implement the smoke free campus policy to promote healthy lifestyle for current students, especially in front of the library. I hope this policy will be approved ASAP. Thanks!

  10. Maria Lara says:

    PSU infraestructure and services relies in its funtionality. Therefore, there is no point to operate an area that will not be used. Lets be real, if it is not final exam or mid-term exams, nobody will be at the library. Sincerity drives community to a better future!

  11. Ailika Madik says:

    The library should extend their hours till 1am during Sundays-Thursdays. If anything the students can go to the second floor Broadway building computer lab, which is open 24 hours during the weekdays. The problem is with the weekends where students who want to study Friday and Saturday do not have enough places to study as everything closes early.

  12. W. Leaf Zuk says:

    I live very close to campus and there have been times I’ve needed to print something, or actually need a book due to a digital copy being unavailable (and had one class that required two actual physical book references–that professor needs to get with the 21st century!) but the time I was available was almost always when the library was closed. Why do we not open until noon on Sunday? This is a State school so Sunday is no different than any other day, and I’ve seen students waiting to go in on Sundays! I think the University should provide not less than 9 am to midnight everyday (and I like that it is open earlier on week days). I do believe that the funding could be found if some creativity entered into the University System way of thinking. I don’t agree that all schools in the States should be private. Private school tend toward substantially higher costs and fewer people would be able to attend.
    I would be very happy to see a 24/7 approach. I’d be very opposed to a 24/5 if it meant 0 hours on the other two days.

  13. Erin says:

    I live on campus and even though I have access to the internet in my room, I prefer to study in the library because of the space and access to books and printing. There have been many times when I was in the middle of a project and had to leave. It is very annoying indeed.

    I suggest that if they are not willing to go 24/5 (which I agree with people who want to use to the library on the weekends, isn’t very practical) that they at least expand their hours to 1 am during the week and open 9 – 10 on the weekends. To me this sounds like a much better solution and a less drastic change. Perhaps during dead week/finals week they could make the library 24/7.

    I really do hope they expand the hours, it would be so helpful to so many student who regularly use the library at night!

  14. Annie says:

    I bet if students organized, they could get the university to keep the library open 24 hours. It’s ridiculous that students who are paying tuition don’t have a quiet place to learn available to them at all times. PSU might be saving money, but it’s doing so at the expense of students’ education.

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