and student workers would maintain their normal hours, with permanent staff
working until midnight Sunday through Thursday and students working until
2:00 a.m. Help Desk services would end at 2:00 a.m., though Olin would
remain open to students all night Sunday through Wednesday. Student
workers would announce the closing of the Help Desk beginning at
1:30 a.m., encouraging users to check out all material before 2:00 a.m.
To staff the overnight hours during this trial period, we recommended
hiring two security guards to patrol inside the building from 1:30 a.m. until
7:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday mornings. One guard would be stationed
at the Help Desk to ensure that reserve material, audiovisual collections,
and staff areas behind the desk remained secure. Another guard would
walk throughout Olin, helping to ensure the safety of users and collections.
The guards would perform hourly headcounts, record any questions asked
at the Help Desk, and write reports of any problems that might occur during
the night.
By introducing and promoting the 24/4 schedule to users as a trial,
we would grant ourselves the opportunity to gather data, determine the
effectiveness of the service, and make changes as necessary. During the trial
period and the summer following the trial period, we would elicit feedback
about the service from library users and analyze data collected by the security
guards. Depending upon our findings, we would consider recommending full
implementation of the 24/4 service.
August 2011:
Dean’s Council agrees with proposal,
implements search for funding
The Dean’s Council agreed enthusiastically with the Library Hours
Committee’s proposal. However, funding was not available in the libraries’
fiscal year 2012 budget to hire two security guards. Dean Baker explored
additional funding options with the university provost in an effort to
implement the service at the recommended time. Ultimately, the Library
Hours Committee learned that the trial period would be postponed. The
libraries’ fiscal year 2013 budget submission will include a request for funds
to cover the cost of security personnel, and we expect to implement the trial
in the fall of 2012.
RLI 277
24
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
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