A proposal to extend library opening hours during the January study period is being put to DCU’s Library Committee by Students’ Union Education Officer Ciarán O’Connor.
The idea, which is currently in the discussion stages, would see the library possibly open until 12am during the four weeks of January. Students would not be able to take out books during these hours but they would be provided with “a warm space to study.”
The issue of the opening hours in the library during exam periods often comes up during debate at DCU.
O’Connor said that he “understands the staff in the library would need to be paid and they have responsibilities in their personal lives”. He plans to suggest that student volunteers could take on the role of monitoring the extra opening hours in the library under one key staff member.
During a recent conference trip to America as part of his work with the SU, the Education Officer saw similar working models where libraries had student managers during longer opening hours.
He said: “Students use the Henry Grattan and science buildings to study late at night and they get kicked out when it is closing time. It would be ideal to provide a warm space with power points for students to study coming up to exams. I personally wouldn’t mind helping out as that is what the SU is here for; to help students.”
O’Connor also knocked the idea of a 24-hour library firmly on the head, claiming it is unrealistic. “Nobody is going to go to the library and study at 5am”, he said.
Libraries in other colleges such as UCD have opening times which extend to midnight during the college week and 9pm at the weekend.
Nathan Wheeler, a BA in Civil Law student at DCU, said: “The library should be open for as long as students need it. Too often in the run up to exams or during, security kick 50 plus students out of the library all who are frantically trying to get some work done. The library should be open late all weekend and all week, no exceptions.”
The Director of Library Services at DCU, Paul Sheehan, declined to comment on the possibility of longer opening hours.