24 hour libraries hit campus

edward boyle library

The University has made a landmark decision to extend library opening times to 24 hours a day during the summer exam period.

After lengthy debate between students, the Union and the University, the idea was finally passed in December.

The Health Sciences Library will also stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays during the Medicine and Health exam period, from May 3 until June 15.

Speaking to Leeds Student, the Union’s Education Officer, Josh Smith, said, “I am delighted to finally have achieved 24 hour libraries for students here because it’s something that has been in demand for years.”

The University is keen to stress that the extended opening hours will run on a trial basis only. A decision over whether the change should be permanent will be made based on the trial.

The change in Library opening hours was initiated at a LUU Better University Forum that decided the University should “work towards 24 hour library access”.

Cassie Moseley, Publicity Co-ordinator for mental health charity Mind Matters, dismissed suggestions that the move would promote a poor work/life balance:

“Although studying for long hours can have an effect on students’ stress levels, particularly if they are studying late at night rather than sleeping – I think students should take responsibility for themselves”

She added: “It should be their choice and responsibility to know where their limits are.”

However, one PhD student voiced his concern about the change: “24 hour libraries promote a poor work ethic for students. Opening hours should be increased on a Saturday and decreased on a Sunday to promote a healthier working culture which will benefit students both in their studies, by getting them to work ahead, and also in later life when everything cannot be left to the last minute.

He continued: “24 hour libraries will lead to an increase in the number of basic spelling and proof-reading errors, subsequently leading to an decline in the standard of academic work.”

The University has agreed to the changes along with the Union, which will also remain open later on days when the library is open all day. The Union Bus will also run for extended hours to offer students a safe way to return home.

A third year History student said: “Different people function better at different times of the day and if you have a major break through you don’t want to have to leave just because the library’s closing.”

She added, “they should have at least one library open 24 hours all of term time so student’s have that option all year, otherwise it gives the impression that they advocate cramming before exam.”

Words: Phil Mann
Photo: Leo Garbutt

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