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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