ISS encourages Undergraduate Library to extend weekend hours

Students hoping for a quiet place to study Friday and Saturday nights may get their wish.

The Illinois Student Senate will vote on a resolution Wednesday night which requests that the Undergraduate Library extend its hours on Friday and Saturday.

The library currently closes at 10 p.m. on these nights; the resolution calls for the library to stay open until 2 a.m. on the following day.

Ryan Janski, author of the resolution and a member of the Committee on Student Affairs and a senior in LAS, said students deserve to have a place to study that is available on weekend nights.

“I wanted a quiet study area for people like me who want to go to libraries and actually study,” Janski said.

He said the most heavily used library hours during the weekday is from 10 p.m. to midnight. After that, it slowly dwindles off, so the time of the extension is appropriate.

As for cost, the extra hours will amount to approximately $41,000 annually, according to the senate’s resolution. This amount should be covered by money set aside from the student Library/IT fee, which is $244 per semester.

Janski said there is a large amount in the fee account, and this would be a relatively small fraction of that.

Scott Walter, associate University librarian for services and associate dean of libraries, said the resolution allows for flexibility in terms of cost.

“I believe the amount noted in the resolution is reasonable and should cover what we currently expect would be needed to provide this service, such as additional staffing, additional hourly student support, additional costs associated with the provision of Library Security and additional costs associated with janitorial and building services,” Walter said.

He said the Library/IT Fee Advisory Committee, which will look at the proposal in the spring, will keep in mind “the responsibility to provide direct benefit to students through the funding of fee proposals, but also of its responsibility to steward the available resources in a responsible manner.”

The advisory committee will most likely review late-night use of the Undergraduate Library as well as options for staffing that will allow the University to provide the service at a reasonable cost, Walter said.

Andrew Sell, student senator and senior in FAA, is a supporter of the resolution.

“I live in a pretty loud apartment complex,” Sell said. “It can get pretty loud on Friday and Saturday nights. I know that I would go and use it if it were made available.”

He said students pay a lot in terms of library fees, and the libraries should be made available to students as much as they require them.

“I don’t know how many students will take advantage of it, but we won’t know until we try,” Sell said.