Molly Gray / Lantern editor
As the trial run of extending William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library’s hours during Spring Quarter wraps up, it’s still unclear if the extended hours will continue next year.
University officials said they will discuss the changes and it’s unlikely that a decision will be made before summer.
In previous quarters, Thompson closed at midnight Sunday through Thursday, and stayed open until 2 a.m. during finals week only. This spring, library officials agreed to keep the 2 a.m. closing time for the entire quarter, except for Friday and Saturday nights, when the library closes at 10 p.m.
Joseph Alutto, executive vice president and provost of the Office of Academic Affairs, said officials will make a decision once they receive the director’s assessment of the temporary extension.
“We will not begin to make an assessment until the quarter is over,” said Carol Diedrichs, director of university libraries. “At that time, we will pull together all of the data that we have gathered regarding usage and cost.”
The Lantern reported in February that the experiment would cost an estimated $50,000 per quarter. If the hours remained permanent, this would mean it would cost the university an additional $150,000 per year.
Library officials agreed to try to keep the library open longer at the urging of the Undergraduate Student Government last quarter.
Kelly Kaltenbach, a fourth-year in psychology, said the extended hours come in handy during midterms and finals, but she normally leaves at midnight because she doesn’t like to walk home late.
“It sucks when you have to leave (at closing) and are still studying,” Kaltenbach said.
Laura Knight, a second-year in biology, said walking home late doesn’t worry her. She said she relies heavily on Thompson Library for late-night studying as many as five times per week.
“I really hope they make it permanent,” she said.
The Science and Engineering Library is the only campus library open 24 hours a day.
Nick Messenger, a second-year in economics and political science and new USG president, said he and Emily DeDonato, a second-year in biology and vice president of USG, will continue advocating for what USG has worked to accomplish with the extended hours.
“Ohio State students really appreciate having the newly renovated library and want to keep using it later at night,” Messenger said. “We really need to see how many students use the late night hours during exam week and in Fall Quarter before the university makes any decisions about closing it.”
There are no permanent signs on the doors of Thompson indicating the revised hours, but signs about the changes are posted inside.
DeDonato said a key aspect of USG’s success is marketing and getting the word out.
“In order to keep the Thompson Library open until 2 a.m., we must continue to use the library between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m.,” DeDonato said. “Students must let others know about this recent change.”
Sarah Pfledderer contributed to this story.