News | Academics

Barnard library goes back to early closing times

A pilot program that kept Barnard’s Wollman Library open later at night attracted few students last year, leading administrators to revert to the earlier closing time this semester. And while librarians say they haven’t received any complaints, students have appealed to their representatives to reinstate the longer hours.

The pilot program had kept the library open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, but beginning this semester, the library reverted to its original closing time of midnight. (Exceptions are made during reading week and finals, when it is open 24 hours a day.)

Lisa Norberg, dean of Barnard library and academic information services, said in an email that, on average, only nine students took advantage of the extended hours nightly. That number, she said, “did not justify the cost of keeping the library open.”

Norberg said she has not received any student complaints about the reduced hours, but representatives on Barnard’s Student Government Association said that students have been appealing to them.

“We received complaints fairly recently that people missed having the old hours,” Leah Metcalf, BC ’14 and SGA’s representative for information and technology, said. “My sense, having talked to people, is we’re approaching midterms, so people were feeling like they missed the library more and were thus more vocal to SGA about it.”

The pilot program was “an experiment to see if people prefer to work late in the Diana or the library,” Metcalf said, and results showed students favored the Diana Center over the library in Lehman Hall.

The Diana Center, which closes at 2 a.m., was built for the purpose of being a student life center, not a study space, and SGA representatives would like to keep the Diana’s atmosphere from becoming purely academic. But students say shutting the library before the Diana is hurting their ability to study effectively.

“When it closes, there’s a flood to the Diana and it’s hard to get a seat,” Elizabeth Kelly, BC ’16, said.

Alex Peaslee, BC ’15, said she wanted the extended hours back. “They know we want to study,” Peaslee said. “Let us do it.”

news@columbiaspectator.com

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Anonymous posted on

SGA continues to work on the issue of study spaces on campus, and as always, welcomes student feedback. We commend the students that have already reached out to us for taking the right course of action for us to be able to bring your concerns to the appropriate administrators. Please e-mail us at sga@barnard.edu if you'd like to weigh in!

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