Library Hours

One of the ongoing issues we hear from students is that the Library is not open enough hours. We agree. Library hours are kept updated on our website at:  http://www.nelson.usf.edu/npml/hours.html

We are currently open 79 hours a week, with highly trained faculty and staff being available to help:

  • find print and electronic information;
  • check materials and equipment out for use in and out of the library;
  • with printing, scanning, and photocopying;
  • use software programs on the computers and laptops in the library;
  • access and interact with online classes;
  • schedule a research session with a librarian;
  • get set up to use a group study room or one of the new technology-enhanced collaboration stations;
  • request materials through interlibrary loan;
  • use the equipment and software in the ADA workroom;
  • and much more.

In the evenings and on weekends, our regular staff is supplemented by a security guard to ensure that students and staff are safe.

In addition to all the normal things that most libraries do, we also run the Campus Digital Archive; we provide support to teachers in creating and managing their online courses and students in accessing them through the efforts of our Distance Learning Team; we create USF IDs; we run our own computer and technical infrastructure separate from Campus Computing; we maintain our own Web site; we design and renovate our physical space to keep up with changing needs and much more.

scholars_lounge (1) We provide more services than most academic libraries  – including a wider range of services than those offered by the Library at USF Tampa. And we do it with only 21 permanent staff and a few additional temporary staff and student assistants. 21 people to serve 6000 students and hundreds of faculty.

What’s my point? We are stretched very thin and we don’t have staff to keep the building open longer hours. We don’t have the same level of staffing that the Library in USF Tampa has. I wish we did.

This week  on the Facebook Group USFSP The Know It All’s Guide To Knowing It All! a student asked: “I have a question…. Why is our library open only till 5 pm on Sundays? Tampa’s main library is open all night and even the Sarasota library is open till 1 am. I feel our library should at least be opened later then 5pm. They could even adjust the hours and open at noon instead of 9am like the other libraries.” Several people responded with incorrect information, including one person saying that the Library was not “owned by the school, hence the short hours.”

One of our librarians then responded with the correct information noting that: “The Poynter Library, which is an official unit of USFSP (not at all connected with the Poynter Institute across the street), is regularly open from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. Opening the library for additional hours requires more library staff, a security guard, and additional building expenses. Like other USFSP units, the library had to absorb its share of reduced funding from the state last year. For the past several years we have also had extended hours during final exam week but we have seen only a handful of people using the library from 10 p.m. to midnight during exam periods. Unless more students use the extended hours during exam periods, we are unable to make the case for more money to the University administration so we can keep the building open longer.”

So, here’s the deal: when the Library is open extended hours during this semester’s exam period, students need to be in the library from 10 p.m. until midnight and demonstrate that more than 30 people need and will use the extended hours. If we have the data to prove that the building will be used, then we might be able to convince the University to give us the funding to keep it open more hours. Until we have some hard data to prove that students really want this and will use it, we will not be able to keep the building open more hours.
Feel free to contact me at hixson@usfsp.edu to voice your concern or offer your suggestions.
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