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Council discusses plan to open library for 24 hours

Student Council members now are trying to find a way to keep Clemons Library open 24 hours a day throughout the academic year.

According to Student Council College Rep. Justin Pfeiffer, the plan focuses on providing students a quiet place to study all night.

"It would greatly benefit the student body especially on weekends. If a student is in a noisy dorm, or if the house they're living in is having a party, it's very difficult for them to find a quiet place to study," Pfeiffer said.

He said extending the library's hours would also be safer.

"People have to get home and have to leave the library at 2 a.m. They can call the Escort Service but they're gonna have to wait for half an hour," he added. "This way if there is a safety concern, then they can stay at the library as long as they want to."

The 24-hour library schedule was originally proposed by the library in its annual addendum budget request last year, said Diane Walker, associate librarian for User Services. The report asked for $68,000 in additional funding from the Office of the Vice President and Provost to support the extension of hours.

The money would have covered the cost of hiring staff and installing an exterior security camera, recommended by University Police, but funding was not available.

"We're not opposed to [extending library hours] at all," Walker said. "We would do it if we had the funding ... We just don't have that money."

Even though the plan was not approved last year, Student Council Rep. Brendan Dignan said he is confident that the proposal will survive because of the student support it has received.

"We need to make sure that the students are represented correctly. It's pretty early but it looks like [the proposal] has a lot of momentum," Dignan said. "Since they've toyed with the idea in the past, I think the administration would like to work with it," he said.

Pfeiffer said Council will do a cost-benefit analysis to try to determine how much money will have to be raised to keep the library open. Once the research has been done and if the proposal passes in Council, the representatives would appeal to the University Budget Office for funding, he said.

Both Pfeiffer and Walker acknowledged concerns stressed by the University Library and the University Police that people not affiliated with the University may wander into the library and spend the night there if it is open 24 hours.

Despite safety and financial concerns, however, some students said it would be ideal for the library to be open at all hours.

"There are some people in this University that would really appreciate having the library open for 24 hours," third-year College student Ki Kwon said.

"I could have really benefited from having the library open all the time, especially during my first and second years," Kwon said.