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After years of requests from students the library is looking into extending its opening hours over the exam period in summer.
Head Librarian Clare Powne and library staff will shortly be having talks with the University to assess whether the extension could come into place this summer. Although it has not been determined exactly when the extended hours programme will be implemented, library staff feel confident that it will eventually be put in place. It seems likely, however, that it will not come into action until the Summer term of 2011.
Danny Ovens, LUSU VP (Academic Affairs), will also be involved in the discussions and supports the introduction of extended hours. “The thing that’s most important is to take it one step at a time and go for extended opening hours during the summer term when people need it most,” he said. “Even if it’s just a few extra hours either side I think it will help people.”
It has been suggested that if opening hours are extended the library will not be accessible around the clock but perhaps two or three hours later than its current closing time of midnight. However, as the newly established Learning Zone is currently open 24 hours it has been suggested that there may not be a need for the introduction of later library closing times.
Ovens feels, though, that both are needed. “Even though the Learning Zone is up and running a lot of people still want to use the library, either because they’re used to it or because its resources are better for them, so I still think there’ll be a demand for it.”
Before the extension can be enforced there are practicalities which need to be taken into consideration such as funding for the excess in lighting and heating utility bills, cleaning and the issue of security. As the library is an open facility it would be easy for a person not belonging to the university to come onto campus and enter after the departure of library staff. Ms. Powne suggested that this could lead to the eventual refurbishment of the library in order to make it a safer and more accessible facility.