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Library to expand 24/7 section after cutting hours

Nutrition+senior+Lauren+Johnson+exits+the+library+Oct.+10.
Nutrition senior Lauren Johnson exits the library Oct. 10.

Nutrition senior Lauren Johnson exits the library Oct. 10.

Kelly Smiley

Kelly Smiley

Nutrition senior Lauren Johnson exits the library Oct. 10.

by Paulette Villicana, Staff Writer

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The 24/7 study area in The Malcolm A. Love Library will be expanded on Oct. 11 in order to address student complaints after the main library reduced its operating hours.

The library changed its 12 a.m. regular closing time to 10:30 p.m. at the beginning of the fall semester due to the increase in the minimum wage, but is now expanding the 24/7 section due to student concerns about finding work space, Sara Baird, library access services and human resources director, said.

The 24/7 study area will be expanded by opening the first floor of the library addition — the underground area — 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday, she said.

“We’ve been trying to figure out what to do for almost a year,” Baird said. “But it really does appear that the library is actually busier, and this was just unanticipated.”

Baird said what they have understood from students is that it is not the service they need late at night, but the space. The new addition will more than double the study space for students, she said.

“We are going to be gating off some hallways so we needed to purchase the mobile gates so we were waiting for all these things to come together,” Baird said.

In addition to new gates, she said they will also be hiring another security guard, as well as ensuring the library is meeting safety and access requirements.

International business junior Estefania Corona said she spends most of her time studying in the library’s 24/7 area. She said she was concerned about what she saw as a lack of tables and computers provided after 10:30 p.m. in the section.

“I’m always in the 24/7 area, I’m not really in the library, but when it’s 10:30 p.m. I see a bunch of people coming into the 24/7 and it gets super full,” Corona said. “There’s a bunch of people (who) are trying to use the computers and they’re not able to do homework.”

In addition to a perceived lack of space, economics senior Cesar Gonzalez said he doesn’t like having to study in the 24/7 area because of the noise issue.

“I have concentration problems so being at the library helps a lot,” Gonzalez said. “When it’s loud, sometimes I put my headphones on with nothing playing just because it’s so loud.”

The main library will continue to close at 10:30 p.m., but it will remain open for 24 hours during finals, as it has in years past, Baird said. The library also began closing at 5 p.m. on Fridays at the beginning of the semester, but will now close an hour later at 6 p.m., she said.

“We had all the best intentions, and it was an attempt to try to make sure that we’re spending students’ money wisely,” Baird said. “If we’re cramming their ability to study then that’s not doing the right thing.”

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