Babbidge Library Extends Hours
Homer Babbidge Library is extending its hours this year. Beginning September 2, it will remain open two additional hours, closing at 2 a.m. instead of midnight, Sunday through Thursday, during both fall and spring semesters.
The extended hours will benefit faculty and graduate students, as well as undergraduates.
"Despite the overwhelming success of online digital resources, the demand for traditional library resources and services has not abated," says Brinley Franklin, director of University Libraries. "Gate counts at Homer Babbidge Library document significant increases in library use over the past several years."
During the past three years, the number of people leaving the library at closing hour Monday through Wednesday has been consistently above 300, and up to 600 or 700 on some nights. In the library's latest user survey, conducted in November and December 2001, respondents identified library hours as their highest priority.
In December 2002, the Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution urging the University to find the resources to extend the Homer Babbidge Library hours. "The average student does not stop functioning at midnight," the report said. The resolution noted that it is a basic function of the University to provide students with a safe and reliable place for quiet study, and identified Homer Babbidge Library as the space most conducive to student learning.
The Babbidge Library's experience reflects a nationwide trend. A recent survey by the Association of Research Libraries notes that the extension of hours beyond midnight Sunday through Thursday is becoming an expected component of the academic library program.
"Despite the challenging economic pressures we are all currently facing," Franklin adds, "the library staff felt that offering extended hours was something we just needed to make happen."
UConn's extended hours pilot study is funded through the University Libraries. At the end of the academic year, library officials will evaluate the pilot and, if it is deemed successful, will apply to the University administration for the resources to sustain the extra hours into the future.
Academic hours begin September 2: Monday-Thursday,
8 a.m.-2 a.m.