No More 24/7 Library For Finals


There will be no more all-nighters this exam season — at least not in Davis Family Library. 

The library will close at 2 a.m. this week and next week instead of remaining open 24/7 as it has in the past. This decision was made for several reasons, including budget challenges, general low usage during late-night hours and difficulty finding staff to work through the night. The change was also partly informed by concerns about the message that 24/7 library hours sends to students about sleep habits and wellness. 

“We have had to look at things and say, ‘Are all of the services that we’re offering really being used to the best extent possible?”’ said Mike Roy, dean of the library. 

Roy ultimately made the decision to adjust the library hours after looking at several factors. According to Roy, it costs roughly $3,000 to keep the library open 24/7 during exam week each semester. The library also tracks how many people are in the building during finals, and the numbers past 2 a.m. in previous years dwindled so much that staff felt there was no reason to make the building available. It was also difficult to find people to staff the library through the night. 

This data led the library to extend their hours to 2 a.m. this exam week, an hour later than they typically close, rather than remaining open 24/7. The library will still close at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, its normal closing time on those days. 

Once the library decided that a lack of funding was one reason to cancel 24/7 exam week hours, the Student Government Association (SGA) discussed providing funding to maintain those hours.

“Some students were pushing back on this change because exam period is a really stressful time and it’s important for students to know that they have a place to go to check out books and get help,” said SGA Senator Rae Aaron ’19.5. 

The SGA ultimately decided that it was not worthwhile to keep it open because so few students made use of the library during the early hours of the morning and because there are other available spaces on campus that do not require funding to remain open. 

One of Roy’s concerns, based on feedback by students, was access to computers. He pointed out that there are two locations on campus that will be open 24/7 during exam week that provide computer access — the Axinn computer lab in Axinn 105 and the Sunderland computer lab in Sunderland 122. There are seven other study space locations that will be available 24/7 during finals, including Wilson Café, the study carrels in Hepburn, the Stewart 2 lounge and Pit, LaForce Library, the Milliken 3 lounge, the Milliken 2 lounge and the Fireplace Lounge in Ross. 

Roy believes the library and the college are sending a positive message to the student body about health and wellness by offering limited hours during finals week. 

“It sends a better message to say ‘It’s 2 a.m., you should go get some sleep,”’ Roy said. 

The college’s health and wellness staff agreed. 

“I’m excited about the new hours,” said Barbara McCall, director of health and wellness education. “I’m looking forward to community boundaries and policies that support the notion that students can and should take time to sleep at night, especially during exams.” 

The Davis Family Library will be open until 2 a.m. on Sunday-Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday for the rest of the semester.