Access to a 24-hour library should be a norm for the college experience

Chrissy Miller, News Editor

With hefty workloads and hectic schedules, a 24-hour library would be an attractive addition to Eastern’s campus. Booth Library has facilities filled with resources that can really help any student struggling in a course. However, it does not matter how nice the facilities are if no one can access them when it really counts.

On top of taking as many as 22 credit hours, some students must work. This leaves very little time for studying and can limit them from having access to the resources Booth Library has to offer, especially on weekends when it closes at 5 p.m.

It’s never a good thing when local bars are open later than the college library. Even on weekdays it is only open as late as late night dining in the Thomas Dining Center. Personally, it is hard to focus on studying or working on an essay when I have not eaten and have been running around all day.

Unfortunately, the library issues go much further than just the hours. The hours cannot be lengthened when the library itself is understaffed and underfunded. Maintaining such a large collection can be a challenge.

Funding is an issue that we cannot escape the reality of, but this university is a place of higher education. Libraries represent the epitome of human ideas and knowledge. At the very least, the effort should be made to educate people in what they are missing out on by getting pizza instead of making a quick trip to the library. Many of the useful resources in the library students do not even know about.

Although it is impractical to suggest having the library open 24 hours all year, having it on that schedule the week before exams and maybe even during midterms would show Eastern’s drive to give students the resources they need to succeed.

As a future teacher, I know what a drastic impact having resources available can have on education as well as overall wellbeing. If students were more confident in their abilities to succeed in their coursework, stress levels would drop.

Besides the financial aspect, there are two steps that would need to take place to make a transition into longer library hours. First, there would need to be a raised awareness of what the library offers.

This could mean trying to give people information about the library the way University Board tries to get people excited about their various committees and events. Subtlety would have to be thrown out the window, and there would have to be a group dedicated to getting people to see how they can use the library to their advantage.

Perhaps this would look kind of like the excitement level members of Greek life get about their philanthropy. Maybe some of the residence halls could take on volunteering in Booth Library as their buildings project. The most important thing is to get students excited and to get rid of the general apathy most students have for a place that could change their educational experience for the better.

The second step would be to slowly transition into longer hours. Recently, in an interview with Paul McCann, he mentioned how staff had been hired back to make the grounds look nice and maintain them. It is wonderful that people are being hired back, but maybe it is time that the library got some extra help back too. The outside looks wonderful, but when people do not have access to the information on the inside, the superficial structure does not really matter.

Education and giving as much access to it as possible to all students on this campus is important to us at this university. It is high time we proved it.


Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].