Image courtesy of Millikin University

Millikin Students Want Staley Library Hours to be Extended. Is it Possible?

February 7, 2023

With the school year in full swing and homework assignments piling up, Millikin students need a safe, controlled environment that allows them to work on assignments. Staley Library serves as this space, and although the building itself accommodates the varying needs of its students, the hours of operation are not sufficient for students working on homework late into the night to accomplish these tasks.

I conducted a survey with fellow freshmen classmates Hope Self, Alexis Vogel, and Jayden McNaught on whether the hours of Staley Library are sufficient for students working on homework late at night.

The survey received 72 responses, and 68% of respondents indicated that they would benefit if the hours were extended to midnight.

There were also several anonymous written responses that indicated this same belief.

“Being an athlete, I don’t have time during the day to go and study,” one response said. “I have to wait until 8 PM after practice and dinner to study and using the library helps me focus more than my room.”

The current hours of operation for Monday through Friday on the UC website state that the library closes at 8 p.m., but this is not truly the case. Candice Germany, operator of the University Commons through the fall of 2022, pointed this out. The UC itself is open until 10 p.m., which allows students to remain in the library until that time.

“Technically, the library does close,” she said. “The building of the UC doesn’t, so anyone looking online wouldn’t know how late it’s open.”

Although the library is technically open until 10 PM, many students still feel that the hours remain inadequate for them to best finish any schoolwork.

For example, another anonymous reply to the survey said, “I have visual arts in the UC where we have to use the computer lab and with sports, I usually must study late. With the UC closing early I often cannot finish my project.”

Although Germany agrees that keeping the UC open until midnight would be beneficial for Millikin students, she points out that there are boundaries that keep the dream from becoming a reality.

“The university began to lose money,” she said. “I had to make some cuts, and we did those based on calculations. My staff takes a physical count of who’s in what space every hour, and we cataloged those counts. From 10 to midnight, in one semester, we had about 30 people total. So that is when the hours were reduced.”

Although student usage of the library during this time would be a big factor in extending the hours, it is only part of a bigger issue that the UC would face.

“I have to pay people to be here,” Germany said. “Books can walk out the front or back doors, and we have a dining hall where people can destroy things. It is all related to money at this point.”

Germany largely cited the lack of usage being the main influence on the hours, so students must begin to utilize the space if any real change is to ever come about. Because of budget cuts, students must show Millikin that keeping the UC open until midnight is a worthy expense.

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