• The library will continue to purchase materials (print, online, digital,
etc.) to support your work, but we would like to know what other
services, facilities or resources might be useful to you. Please rank
your 3 highest priorities for Library spending, other than collections.
Users responded by selecting priorities from drop-down menus. Among
the 10 available priorities was “Extend Library hours.” While “Extend Library
hours” ranked as the sixth priority for graduate students and faculty, it ranked
as the second priority for undergraduate respondents, after “More study space.”
Questions 12, 13, and 14 of the survey were open-ended:
• Would you like to comment on a specific library?
(Comment on all that apply)
• What services could be provided that would better meet your needs?
• Anything else?
Undergraduates’ and graduates’ expectations about library hours emerged
as a theme in their responses to these questions. Comments ranged from general
pleas of “Extend the hours!” to more specific statements of need. One graduate
student commented, “I am unsatisfied with the current library hours and I feel
that there should be 24-hour access to the main library five days a week Sunday-
Thursday. I feel that the university as a whole demands a high caliber of work
from its students therefore they must provide proper resources for students to
meet this requirement.” A first-year undergraduate requested, “Please extend the
hours! Almost all universities of our caliber have libraries open 24/7,” and a third-
year undergraduate said, “Please leave Olin open later! It is absolutely ridiculous
that one of the best schools in the country doesn’t have a 24-hour main library.”
About Olin Library
John M. Olin Library is at the center of Danforth Campus, which is also home to
nine departmental or school libraries. Olin’s five floors house general-interest
materials and collections in the humanities, social sciences, and engineering.
The Help Desk on the first floor is central to user services. Librarians, staff, and
student workers at the Help Desk are cross-trained to assist users with both
circulation and reference inquiries.
Olin is currently open 115.5 hours per week during the fall and spring
semesters, until 2:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights, until 8:00 p.m.
Keeping the Doors Open: Exploring 24-Hour Library Access at Washington University
C O N T I N U E D
DECEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC