April and May 2011:
Gathering of data on late-night usage
of Olin Library and Whispers Café
Library Hours Committee members knew that in order to make sound
recommendations to the Dean’s Council, we needed statistical data on Olin and
Whispers usage during late-night and overnight hours. No recent counts of
users were available for Olin. Though our security gate automatically counts
users entering and leaving the library throughout the day and night, counts of
users arriving cannot be distinguished from counts of users who are leaving.
Thus, the gate counts can provide a picture of general activity at the main
entrance, but we wanted a more detailed picture. Taking a cue from questions
raised by our ARL colleagues, we wanted to know how many users were inside
Olin during the late hours, and we also wanted to know what these users were
During one week in April and one week in May, Olin student workers
performed headcounts of users during the late-night and early-morning hours.
While one student worker counted users on all five library levels, another
remained at the Help Desk to provide service. The week in April gave us a
picture of use during non-finals time, and the May week provided a picture of
use during final exams.
Student workers counted users hourly for the last three open hours of each day:
from 11:00 pm. until 2:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; from 5:00 p.m. until
8:00 p.m. on Friday; and from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.
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
Date Day of Week 11:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m. 1:00 a.m. 2:00 a.m.
4/11/2011 Mon. night/Tues. morning 223 173 110 15
4/12/2011 Tues. night/Wed. morning 211 169 114 5
4/13/2011 Wed. night/Thurs. morning 163 132 88 8
4/14/2011 Thurs. night/Fri. morning 71 39 32 1
4/17/2011 Sun. night/Mon. morning 147 104 70 4