24-Hour Library on the Horizon

Isaak Kifle

Overlooking the Maxcy quad is the Marvin K. Peterson Library, the library of the University of New Haven. Named after a former president of the university, the library not only serves as an ideal place to study or do homework, but its extensive database collection has just about any book or reference item one may need for class.

Beginning right after fall break on Wednesday, Oct. 10, the library will open at 7 a.m. and continue to be open on a 24/7 basis for the remainder of the fall semester, with the exception of Thanksgiving break.

Students can enjoy a beautiful view of the Maxcy quad from the library café as well as receive free tutoring services from the Center for Learning Resources (CLR) located on the bottom floor.

A distinguishing feature of the Peterson Library among the places on campus has always been the hours. Students, faculty and staff could utilize the library and its many services before the earliest classes of the day started and long after the latest classes ended.

Currently, the library is open an incredible 109 hours a week for use by members of the university community. The Peterson Library’s current fall 2012 hours are Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.(midnight), Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight).

Even so, there has been popular demand for expanding the library’s hours for a number of years now. Many students who may not have regular access to a computer, printer or quiet area to study in may need those services after midnight or earlier than available on the weekends. The idea of keeping the library open 24 hours a day began as early as 2009, and in the fall of 2010, the Academics Committee of the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) held a petition for the idea. While the petition received a lot of support from students, the Peterson Library lacked the funding to go ahead with the idea, so it had to be put aside.

In the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters, the idea of a 24-hour library was tested for finals week. From Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, to Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, and then again from Monday, April 30, 2012, to Wednesday, May 9, 2012, the Peterson Library remained open for university students, faculty and staff on a 24-hour basis, although services such as borrowing books and reserving group study rooms were unavailable past regular hours.

The popularity of the library after hours was apparent during these two weeks and now, thanks to an increase in funding, the Marvin K. Peterson Library will soon be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week for the semester!

“This is something that the students wanted and this is what they asked for,” adds Hanko Dobi, University Librarian. “Here in the library, we try to serve the students and the administration wants to give students a positive experience as well”. Beginning right after fall break on Wednesday, Oct. 10, the library will open at 7 a.m. and continue to be open on a 24/7 basis for the remainder of the fall semester, with the exception of Thanksgiving break.

Due to library staff leaving at the end of the day, many library services will still be unavailable after midnight. Still, students, faculty and staff can use the computers, printers and copiers all hours of the day.

Furthermore, security will be present in the library after hours, and entry will require a valid UNH ID. A 24-hour library has been an idea long in the making and its establishment is another testament to the growth of the university and the dedication of its staff to continue to serve the increasing student body.

“There are plans to continue these hours in the spring,” concludes Dobi.