New Dean Limits Student Access to Books
This semester the Mary Livermore Library has cut its hours of operation drastically. The new hours for the library are Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
A total of 18 hours were cut from the library’s weekly schedule. The cut in the hours of operation could have an effect on students who normally take advantage of the original late hours.
Students now have until ten on the week days to study at the library, and have only six hours to study at the library on Saturdays.
The library is an important piece of campus and the college community and should be available as a primary resource to students on a regular basis.
College student’s weekends are filled with fun and studying. With majority of a college student’s time being invested in their studies, an important resource such as a library, is good to have and should be available majority of the time as well.
There are many college and University libraries that offer 24 hour services such as NC A&T and UNC Greensboro.
Weekend hours come out at a total of only 14. The average student is supposed to spend three hours per course hour studying their material outside class every week, that puts full-time students (12+ hours/ week) at 36 to 54 hours of studying a week.
The library is fit to accommodate students of all majors and studies, but cannot do so if they are not open.
The dean of library services, Dr. Dennis Swanson, had much to say regarding the cut on hours. He mentioned the significant decline in the number of student workers over the past three years beginning at 30 students and now down to only 5 this fall semester.
Not having a reasonable amount of faculty to run the library was a big factor in the decision to cut the hours.
As Dr. Swanson said, the student workers are the “man power” behind running the library and they do all the necessary work to keep a thriving and functional library system.
With a decrease in the amount of student workers over the last few years, Swanson said there were important things that failed to get done.
Such important responsibilities like going through books in the library and filtering out the old and outdated texts with new and updated pieces should be done periodically but in this case has been neglected for five to six years.
There is concern about the lack of availability the students now have with the library and Dr. Swanson knows he has a lot of work to do.
He plans on further surveying students to find out which hours are most popular to visit the library, and adjusting the schedule if need be in November for the following spring semester. Swanson says the hours will not be adjusted for finals week this fall semester.
Because of being short on staff, Dr. Swanson had to make a tough decision to cut back on hours to avoid exhausting his staff. Swanson plans on gradually hiring more student workers and has already created new assistant dean positions that will help organize the library system and provide better services to the students.
Dr. Swanson hopes to create a library for our campus one day that will offer more space, more updated resources, and more availability to students.
“Our library currently has two hundred and ninety spaces accommodating students in their studies, that is a total of only 4% of our total enrollment. Normally a campus library can accommodate 10% and ideally would seat 15-20% of the student population,” he said.
The library will continue with the new schedule, and over the next few years Swanson believes Mary Livermore will grow and be better fit to accommodate the students with the enhancements he plans on putting into action.