The Student Senate, Library System and Provost Ronald Brown marked the official opening of the 24-hour Undergraduate Library pilot program at a ceremony Thursday morning.
The UGL is open 24 hours a day, beginning at 11 a.m. Sundays until 9 p.m. Fridays. The pilot is scheduled to last through May 3, 2011.
“When I wasn’t on Student Senate … there was really no adequate study space,” said Kevin Tatulyan, Student Senate student services committee chairperson. “We just got it done.”
Though the library debuted the 24-hour system Oct. 3, the two weeks since has been used to get the library and custodial staffs accustomed to the extended hours, according to Sandra Yee, dean of university libraries.
Yee said during the first two weeks there have been “no problems,” both technically and behaviorally. Tatulyan said students have been receptive to the new hours.
“It’s honestly been great,” he said. “Students are using it and they’re really happy.”
The library will now provide students with 24-hour support from the Library Computing Help Desk, access to reserve materials and two library monitors during the overnight hours, according to the Libraries’ website.
In-person reference services will not be available overnight.
Students must have their OneCard in order to remain in the library during the hours of 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. and anyone who wishes to enter during that time must use the extended hour entrance.
The idea for extended hours throughout the Undergraduate Library was brought to Yee by the Student Senate, an idea Yee said was discussed in the past.
“It’s been brought up before, but we’ve always been constrained by resources,” Yee said. “We have a very limited student assistant budget and there was just no way that we could come up with internally the resources that were necessary.
“The Student Senate was instrumental in working with the provost and the budget office in getting us additional resources to be able to do this.”
The Senate worked with Rob Kohrman, associate vice president of budget, planning and analysis to secure funding for the project, which Kohrman said would cost “roughly $100,000 or so.”
“This was all part of the Student Resolution that the students passed to the Board of Governors,” Kohrman said, referencing the summer resolution in which the Senate backed the eventual 4.4 percent fall tuition increase passed by the BOG. “Back in the spring, when we were discussing tuition rates, we engaged the student leadership and asked them what they wanted to see changed.
“It’s the tuition dollars from the students that are really helping to keep the library open.”
Kohrman noted the extended hours would help create a more cohesive campus atmosphere, and Yee said there was an economic impact as a result of the overnight system.
“We’ve hired some additional student assistants, we’ve hired some additional technicians who are supervisory in nature and we’ve hired some additional security monitors,” Yee said. “There’s been quite a bit of additional employment created already.”
Ultimately though, the biggest impact is additional resources for students.
“That’s our goal is to help with student success,” Yee said. “That’s why we wanted to be able to do this.”