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ISSUE 117 VOL 16 PUBLISHED 4/23/2004

Additional work study hours added to Rolvaag

By Maren Daniel
Staff Writer

Friday, April 23, 2004

Beginning next year, Rolvaag Memorial Library will be open an additional 15 hours every week. The decision came after Dean of Students Greg Kneser moved 30 hours of work study from the current late-night study area in Holland Hall to the library. Because the library is always double-staffed, this means an additional 15 hours.

According to College Librarian Bryn Geffert, Rolvaag will shoot to keep the third (main) floor open until 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday. A theater rope and motion detectors have been purchased to block off the main staircase to the fourth floor during these hours. The doors to the other staircases off the third floor will be locked.

The rest of the library will keep its current hours from 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thurs-day. Hours on Friday will most likely be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the entire library. Saturday hours will probably be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m..

Geffert decided on this schedule after attending the Student Senate meeting last week and meeting with the library's circulation department.

Geffert and Kneser said that they would both have been willing to implement the new schedule this year, but did not want to inconvenience those employed in Holland's late-night study area.

Over the years, students have expressed a desire for longer library hours. Some would like the library to be open later on the last day of breaks when students return.

Others have requested later hours during the week, later hours on weekends, and earlier hours on Sunday mornings.

Brittany Larson '06, who originally approached Kneser with the idea of extending the library's hours, noticed that Carleton's Gould library is open until 1 a.m., and thought Rolvaag could be open later as well.

"The library is a tremendous resource for St. Olaf students and the more accommodating it is, the more it will be used," Larson said.

Kneser appreciates that the issue of library hours was raised by a student, since late night studying is such a part of students' lives.

However, not all students are as enthusiastic about the new hours.

"I like that they kick me out at midnight," Sara Egeland '07 said. "It makes me get to bed when I have class the next morning."

Betsy Busa, who coordinates student work hours for Rolvaag, has some concerns about sleep deprivation and about recruiting people to work from midnight to 2 a.m..

She said that Carleton's Gould library, which stays open until 1 a.m., is not staffed by students. She hopes to find "night owls who don't have early morning classes" to work the late shift.

Kneser feels that moving the student work hours that fund the late night study area to the library is "a better use of resources."

"The area in Holland is underutilized," Kneser said. "A lot of students don't even know about it."

The late-night study area in Holland Hall, which will close when the library's new hours begin, opened in the days when computers in residence halls were rare and special software was only available on Holland's computers. The building's late hours - - it is currently open until 3 a.m. - - were meant to benefit students needing access to this software.

Now that residence halls are well-equipped with public as well as personal computers, later hours in Holland are not as necessary.

Roberta Lembke, director of Informational and Instructional Technologies, plans on making sure computers in the library are equipped with any special software currently used during Holland's late hours.

In addition, IIT will provide more computers, scanning stations and video-editing software in the microfiche room, which will be open during the later hours along with the rest of the third floor. This will allow students to edit video projects later at night instead of having to fit it in to IIT's hours, which is currently the only option.

Lembke said the new area in the microfiche room will be "not grandiose, but really nice with quality machines."

She hopes that this area will be a nice change from Holland's late night study spot, to which she has always been opposed because of its numerous corridors and corners that are difficult to patrol.

"It's not a good place for a woman to be late at night," she said.

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