with a 24/5 schedule—opening on Sunday morning and remaining open until Friday evening—than with a 24/7 schedule. February 2011: Formation of Library Hours Committee Following our compilation of the responses to the ARL Directors List inquiry, Dean Baker appointed the Library Hours Committee to investigate issues related to our libraries’ hours and to make recommendations for change to the Dean’s Council. As the Library Hours Committee began its work, responses to the ARL list inquiry gave us a greater awareness of the possibilities for providing 24-hour access. In addition to reporting their hours, many respondents shared insights, suggestions, questions, and concerns about providing 24-hour access in their libraries, and these helped the committee to frame our own investigation: Some respondents recommended piloting 24-hour access before declaring it a long-term plan, in case the service needs to be revised after implementation or is not heavily used. Several respondents raised the question of what users really want when they ask for 24-hour access to the library: physical collections, course reserves, research assistance, computing resources, quiet study spaces, or a combination of these? Budgets were a concern. Some respondents share the cost of providing 24-hour access with their student government associations. Some are unable to provide 24-hour access due to budgetary constraints. Safety of users and security of collections were common themes. How can libraries ensure the safety of students arriving and leaving the library in the middle of the night? How can they ensure the security of collections and buildings? Would restricting access to only certain areas of the library help? Among respondents who provide some level of 24-hour access, deploying overnight security personnel is common. RLI 277 19 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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