Library 24/5 returns

Nicole Caporaso

Carol Belk Library will return to the 24-hour schedule Sundays through Thursdays starting March 16.

Belk Library will begin operating on a 24-hour schedule Sundays through Thursdays starting March 16 at no extra cost to students. Photo by Paul Heckert | The Appalachian

No additional fees will be charged to students for these extended hours, according to a press release from the library, which will open Sunday afternoon at 12:30 and remain open until 9 p.m. Friday. The hours for Saturday will remain from 10-6 p.m.

“We’ve been working on the decision to reinstate the hours since the beginning of the semester, but the conversation to get the 24/5 hours back goes back years,” said Ken Johnson, coordinator of learning and research services for the library. “They were taken away during the recession because it was costly. It has been an ongoing conversation with SGA.”

Johnson said the university decided it was time to revisit the issue because of fewer budgetary constraints. It was one of the Student Government Association’s priorities to have 24/5 hours reinstated in the library, SGA President Dylan Russell said.

“During the research we were doing, we discovered that students had been paying for 24/5 hours the past few years in fees, but it wasn’t happening, they weren’t receiving the service,” Russell said. “It is an issue of integrity, it is fair that we get what we are paying for.”

Russell, along with members of his cabinet, met with and lobbied to Chancellor Kenneth Peacock, Provost  Lori Gonzalez and the Board of Trustees.

“The chancellor and provost were passionate about making the situation right,” Russell said.
SGA initially proposed that student fees be increased to cover the longer library hours in its fall referendum, but the idea was turned down by the university.

Johnson said SGA was very persistent in pushing for the issue.

“They continued to bring it up and push for the hours to be returned during the time the library was not open 24/5,” Johnson said. “The school has always been supportive of the 24/5 hours and wanted to bring it back when the time is right.”

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter

Photo: Photo Editor, Photo Editor