Campus libraries to change hours during month of October, gauge student response

By Briana Ferguson, Contributing Writer ||

This October, the College’s libraries are partnering with Diplomatic Congress (DipCon) to  conduct an experiment to switch the late night hours of Shadek-Fackenthal Library (Shad-Fack) and Martin Library of the Sciences (Martin). For the month of October, Shad-Fack will be open until 2:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and Martin will be open until midnight during the same period; both libraries will close at midnight during weekends.

“Data collected by the library shows that more students use Shadek-Fackenthal library,” said Jack Kupsky ’17, public relations officer of the Diplomatic Congress. “Last year’s Diplomatic Congress took the initiative to conduct a survey on how Franklin & Marshall students use our libraries. This survey showed that the majority of students would prefer Shad to be open later.”

While student opinion was a factor of the switch, another factor DipCon considered was the time when the switch would be most effective in garnering student feedback. October was chosen as, according to library staff, students experience significant amount of exams and papers, and therefore more students should be affected by the change.

“October is a time when people are engaged and studying in the library but can still handle and respond to a change like this,” said Scott Vine, information services librarian. “It’s a representative period in the semester when we could do this experiment without adding further disruption to the extremes.”

During the experiment, DipCon and the libraries will be collecting data as to the effectiveness of the switch as well as soliciting student feedback. At the end of the experiment, the data will be reviewed by both the libraries and DipCon.

“If there is overwhelming feedback, the switch could become permanent as soon as next semester,” said Kupsky. “The more likely option if the hours are going to change is that it will be for the 2015-2016 academic year.”

There will be ways to give feedback both electronically and in the library. Students will be encouraged to email DipCon with feedback. Student are also encouraged to attend open meetings of DipCon.


First-year is a contributing writer. Her email is bferguso@fandm.edu.

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