Seat monitors being hired in DCU libraries

Aoife O'Brien

Students preparing for exams in DCU's O'Reilly library.

Seat monitors are being hired in DCU’s O’Reilly and Cregan libraries to clear study spaces that have been saved but left vacant by students during exam time.

The Share the Chair campaign was initially launched as a pilot scheme in the Cregan library on St. Patrick’s campus during the Christmas exam period and will now be rolled out on a larger scale.

As part of the campaign seats that have been abandoned for more than 45 minutes will be cleared by seat monitors and items will be left in a box under the desk.

“Given the pressures on our spaces in recent times, we cannot permit students to hold a desk for themselves for a time longer than 45 minutes”, according to DCU Library Public Service Manager Shauna McDermott.

Share the Chair began as a result of a survey carried out by the library in April 2018 which showed that seat holding was an issue that students were asking to be tackled.

This issue becomes significantly worse during exam time McDermott said.

Seat monitors will be present “around the key exam study period” from April 29th until May 17th, she said.

Instances of seat holding fell 90 per cent when the scheme was piloted in the Cregan library according to McDermott and she hopes “that the students who study in O’Reilly library will also get behind the campaign in a similarly positive fashion.”

After receiving 39 applications from students, the library is conducting interviews to fill the seat monitor positions.

While four students were hired to run the scheme in the Cregan library during Christmas exams the number is expected to be much larger this time around due to the larger seat ratio in the O’Reilly library.

An additional 68 individual study spaces have also been created in the O’Reilly library in the lead up to this busy period and the 24/7 opening hours will also be returning.

“With our popular 24/7 opening hours returning for the exam study season also, we are confident now that we will be able to meet the demand we expect to see in May,” McDermott said.

Aoife O’Brien

Image Credit: Rachel Power