Weldon, Taylor hours extended

Introverts’ weekend plans set

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Between books at Western libraries

Jon Purdy

WHY GO TO JACK’S WHEN I CAN CELEBRATE THE WONDERS OF BEETLE LARVAE? Thanks to extendedlibrary hours, Western students can crack the books all night long. Well, until almost midnight.

Thanks to a slew of student complaints, Western’s library hours are being extended. Now students can study until 11:30 p.m. every night of the week.

The University Students’ Council and Western librarians received several complaints last term after library hours were reduced and the D.B. Weldon and Allyn and Betty Taylor libraries closed at 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Eeva Munoz, assistant to the university librarian and director of Taylor library, said last term’s hours were reduced because traditionally very few students use the libraries on Friday and Saturday nights. She said the libraries are usually quiet since many students party on weekends.

Many students objected to the changes and Western student Andre Moazami circulated a petition through Weldon last October demanding Western libraries increase their hours to accommodate academic needs. Moazami collected 1,000 signatures in five hours.

He showed his petition to USC president Fab Dolan, who signed it and wrote a letter of support. Moazami then presented the document to several head librarians.

Dolan also raised the issue in a meeting with Western President and Vice-Chancellor Paul Davenport. Dolan said Davenport listened to the concerns and raised them in subsequent meetings with members of the administration, including academic VPs.

Catherine Wilkins, assistant to the university librarian and director of Weldon library, said the extended hours are already in effect at Weldon.

“We received a lot of feedback last term,” Wilkins said. “Many students expressed their concerns through e-mail and various comments, and it’s important for us to respond to student needs.

“We think our new hours will be more consistent for students.”

Munoz said the changes take effect at Taylor library starting next weekend. Students should check the library website for more information.

Though Moazami’s petition called for Western to keep its libraries open 24/7, Dolan said increasing the weekend hours addressed the problem where it was most prevalent.

“Over the next couple of years the administration will continue to address the issue of library hours and see if it’s possible to increase them even further,” Dolan said. “It’s something that will probably affect next year’s budget.”

Wilkins and Munoz agreed that, in addition to budgetary constraints, safety for staff and students remains a key reason hours might not be extended much later, except during exams when libraries stay open until 2 a.m. and the USC offers a late-night bus service.

“Closing at 11:30 p.m. gives our staff enough time to catch the last bus home,” Wilkins said.

“We know now this is something the USC needs to be talking about early in September when the budget’s decided so deficiencies like this don’t happen in the future,” Dolan said.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette