The O. Cope Budge Library will now close at 5 p.m. on Fridays, remain closed all day Saturdays, and will not open again until 4 p.m. on Sundays due to budget cuts.
The budget cuts not only affect hours of operation but number of librarians on site, physical book collection, digital resources, and all-around library physical resources.
“Budget [and] money was always an issue [for the library],” said former library employee Jonathan Shelden.
The decision to close the library on weekends was not random but based on need and statistical analysis, explained library assistant Steven Valdez.
“From the statistics we have from the previous academic year, we knew on average we would get a maximum of 5 students who would use the library on Saturdays,” Valdez said.
One proposed solution to the library’s slower Saturdays was to set up a volunteer program on weekends. This, however, could not be implemented due to liability issues.
The Administration was hesitant to close the library on Saturday’s but felt they had no choice due to the financial strain and lack of alternatives, according to Valdez.
“Our library should have about 12 librarians but right now we’re running five…we’re kind of stretched thin,” added Valdez.
This cut, while purportedly necessary, has not been met without student frustration.
“This is a University. I find it quite ridiculous that [the library] is closed the entire day on Saturdays,” sophomore Briley Neyenhuis said.
Sophomore Victoria Cierley feels that the decision to close the library on weekends is unjustified.
“It’s crucial to our academic success as students and it should be given a much higher priority… I will gladly give up whatever nonessential thing our money is being spent on if it means I’ll have a reliable place to study,” Cierley said.