By, Lauren Raziano, Social Media Editor
With more students returning to campus, many rely on the 24 hour library access to internet and quiet for studying, but O’Malley Library has made the decision to cut its operational hours.
William H. Walters, PhD, FCLIP, the Executive Director of the Manhattan College Library sent an email on Aug. 31 to the Manhattan community stating that the Library will scale back from its previous 24/7 open access.
This Fall, the library building will be open Monday through Thursday: 7:30 am to midnight, Friday, 7:30 am to 9:30 pm, Saturday, noon to 8:00 pm, and Sunday, noon to midnight.
In the email it mentioned the change in hours as a response to low overnight use of the building (as indicated by hourly head counts).
Walters wrote in an email to The Quadrangle, “We looked at the head counts of the past few years—not just the most recent year. We considered the absolute numbers, the trend over time, and the overnight head counts relative to the daytime head counts. In particular, we relied mainly on pre-COVID data when making this decision.”
“The College and the Library are always evaluating the cost-effectiveness of the services we offer, with the goal of operating efficiently and lowering our operating costs. In this case, there were several main considerations.” Walters wrote.
A high end operating cost is also Manhattan College’s location, “A key factor here is that both labor and maintenance expenditures are especially high in New York City. In contrast, many other library expenditures don’t vary much (if at all) based on location.” Walters wrote.
Louis Giacomo, a senior civil engineering major, is disappointed in this change.
“I am directly affected by the noon opening on weekends, as I run the steel bridge club out of the library on Saturday mornings. This now means that the rest of my day is delayed by having to wait to use the software necessary for the club. It is unfair to students who need to use the library in the morning on a weekend.” Louis wrote.
Giacomo offered a possible solution, “The library hours will definitely affect my academic and extracurricular activities. If the school doesn’t have enough money, they should keep at least two floors open rather than running the whole library 24/7 and nobody using it. That way the school can save money on resources and still provide students with an equal library like most other colleges have.”
Emilia O’Neill, sophomore, major in Psychology and double minor in Spanish and Digital Arts & Humanities, said that limiting library hours may impact students studying because the 24 access allows for a quiet place to focus at all hours of the day.
“ Although I understand the reason for limiting the hours, I think it is a loss for many students. Personally I feel way more focused and determined when I’m working in the library and if there are people in your room it can be hard to stay focused on your studies. The study rooms, the alumni room, honestly even the chairs scattered around the library, all were very instrumental to my success, as well as my friends last semester. “ O’Neill said.
The future of the library hours “ will be determined later in the semester. There’s an excellent chance that we’ll have extended hours during finals and the week before, but I’m not yet sure about midterms and other times.” Walters wrote.
O’Neill thinks that others students may struggle with completing their tasks because the library provides students who prefer to study at later hours.
“I think for some students who have difficulty with time management or who are overly tempted to spend time with
their friends before completing homework, could easily fall be- hind without the resources pro- vided at the library. All in all, I think the reduced hours could negatively impact students’ grades who historically have worked on their homework lat- er at night.” O’Neill said.
O’Neill is hopeful the li- brary will be able to accommodate students by the end of the semester.
“At the very least, I think they should at least go back to 24hrs for the last 3 weeks or so of the semester to allow more time for students to prepare for final projects and exams.” O’Neill said.
Walters wrote, “We do not yet have a solution for this. If students have any ideas about that, we’d be glad to hear from you.”