Students have mixed reactions to library’s expanded hours

By on September 19, 2006

It’s 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, and Kristin Papu is settling down in a cubicle with her fourth cup of coffee, ready to read her anatomy and physiology text book until the sun comes up.

“I think the lack of restrictions on library hours is beneficial to all students because we are being provided opportunity,” said Papu, a senior physician’s assistant major. “It provides us the opportunity to excel in an environment conducive to learning that may be otherwise difficult to find in an on-campus setting, and takes into consideration the varying schedules of students to allow them to utilize the building at his or her discretion. I think that it also provides a sense of academic freedom.”

The Arnold Bernhard Library has undergone a transformation similar to the one that 7-Eleven convenience stores experimented with in 1963. While students may not be able to eat or drink in the library, it is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and most students think the change is a good one.

Many students believe that the extended hours will be a great help with their class workloads. But some think that the change will lead to more overcrowding and less sleep.

“The idea of a 24/7 operation is a good one, but I think that is could possibly lead to overcrowding. The library doesn’t really have enough printers and study rooms as it is to compensate for the hours that it ran last year, and I don’t see how letting us use it all of the time is going to make that any better,” said Jessica Rodrick, a senior physical therapy major from Westchester, N.Y. “Also, I think that if you give students the opportunity to stay up all night at the library, they will, and then they will lose out on sleep necessary to function for the next day’s classes.”

Many other students had nothing but positive feedback about the changes.

“Personally, I think it’s wonderful,” said Joseph Russolello, a junior physical therapy major from Bay Shore, N.Y. “Having seven other roommates makes it difficult to be able to study in my room at any hour, so knowing that I can go to the library if I have a big test and that I can stay there with no distractions until I am fully satisfied with my knowledge of the material is a great feeling.”

Jeffery Fontana, a senior international business major from West Islip, N.Y., echoed Russolello’s sentiments. “I think it’s a really good idea. There have been times that I would be doing homework at the library and a security guard would tell me to leave because it was closing. Also, I had an 8 a.m. [class] that I always had to print assignments for, and the library would open right at 8, so if I wanted to print something for that class, I would be a few minutes late.”

Some students are entirely neutral about the situation. “The library has always been a non-factor in my life, and always will be, regardless of the changes in hours. I do my work in my room and have no interest in venturing to the library, especially around midterms and finals season,” said Kellan O’Neill, a junior public relations major from Brightwaters, N.Y.


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