J.D. Williams Library shifts weekend operating hours

Posted on Feb 12 2018 - 7:59am by Jordan Holman

Since the beginning of the semester, the J.D. Williams Library has been implementing a new schedule of operating hours. It now closes an hour earlier on Fridays – at 6 p.m. rather than 7 p.m. – and opens an hour earlier on Sundays – at noon instead of 1 p.m.

“We chose this so that we would not be losing any operating hours overall,” Stan Whitehorn, head of library facilities, said. “We monitored usage and activity patterns and found that we ultimately didn’t have enough students staying late on Friday to justify remaining open until 7. So we decided to close an hour early.”

For a few weeks last semester, the J.D. Williams Library used its employees at the circulation desks at the front to monitor how many students entered and exited the library. They found that while many did not choose to stay late on Fridays, many were found waiting outside for the library to open Sundays.

The library offers many study spaces and resources for students. Photo by Marlee Crawford

“I’ve been to campus a few times on Sundays and thought I could get in at noon, only to find I couldn’t,” Faith Harris, a senior exercise science major, said. “I think this new schedule will be really nice and help a lot, especially around midterms and finals, when the library gets really busy.”

The library usually adjusts hours accordingly during midterm and finals seasons, though those changes usually only last during the weeks of exams. This change will be permanent, as it reflects a need of a number of students’.

“When I’ve come to the library on a Sunday, I’ve seen people waiting around outside for it to open,” Harris said. “It makes much more sense that it would open at noon rather than 1, which always seemed a weird time to me.”

Whitehorn said he believes opening an hour earlier on Sundays will help the students while not affecting his staff much.

“We will still have the same amount of hours a week to work, so I don’t see this affecting any of our employees adversely,” he said.

The Science Library across campus will also be closing at 6 p.m. on Fridays, though it will continue to open at 1 p.m. on Sundays. This schedule reflects the lack of student demand for the library to open any earlier. Should there become a demand, they plan to adjust their opening schedule accordingly.

Though not widely broadcasted, the minor schedule adjustment will help the J.D. Williams Library provide more services to students wanting a quiet place to study on Sundays.

“Hopefully we can be more effective to the students with our new hours,” Whitehorn said. “We are here to be a service to the students, after all.”

Students are looking forward to being able to come to campus earlier on Sundays to study.

“I was unaware of the change at first,” Harris said. “But now that I know about it, I am more likely to come to campus to study on Sundays, knowing that I’ll have longer now and won’t ever have to wait outside in the cold for it to open.”