Montclair State University students are used to disappointment. Throughout the years, students have become accustomed to little parking, higher tuition rates, less-than-edible food and, most recently, a closed library.
Currently, Sprague Library is open seven days a week, yet the daily hours vary greatly. Monday through Thursday, the library website claims that the facility is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. On Fridays, the hours are reduced, leaving the library open from just 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Over the weekend, students have even less time to get their “study on” due to even more heavily reduced hours at the library.
While many seniors fondly remember the good old days when Sprague Library was open 24 hours during the school week, many think it would be beneficial if this practice was back in effect.
Of course, closing the library early has been cost-effective for the university, but it is a different story for students. With so many more students enrolled at Montclair State, it is clear that there is more than enough money to keep the library open for longer hours. Despite the influx in students, the need for studying remains the same. The library should be open at least 24 hours a day from Monday to Friday.
With a community of over 20,000, it is important that students have the ability to escape to a space to complete their school work regardless of what time of day it is. While students are capable of completing school work outside of the library, it nevertheless serves as a great working environment for many.
In a world full of distractions, Sprague Library provides various silent spaces for students to become engrossed in their work without fear of being interrupted. This makes the library the perfect space to work on an English paper or study for a math test. By closing the library at 2 a.m. or earlier, students are forced to go off campus or return to their residence halls, where they may not be able to achieve the same kind of quiet, focused environment that Sprague Library provides.
Even with the current hours, students are not always able to get the help they need, as many of the services the library offers close prior to the closing of the actual library. For example, on Sundays, the multimedia service at Sprague Library closes at 8 p.m., yet the library stays open until 2 a.m. the next day. Thus, even when the library is open, there is not always someone to help students who may require assistance. The library should not deny students the opportunity to learn just because they were not able to get to the library during the hours of operation.
Also, many students have found the library closing before its official closing time posted online, especially on Fridays, when Sprague often locks up at 5 p.m. The same can be said for the laptop borrowing service located on the lower level of Sprague Library. While the Montclair State website notes that this service is open whenever the library is, students have found that is not always the case. Instead, they have found themselves out of luck when looking to borrow a laptop from the library.
As an educational institution, Sprague Library is clearly one of the most important buildings on campus. Therefore, it should be open longer to benefit more students. Students need to be able to do their best and, for many, the library offers the environment and resources to do so.