Classes are over and OSU’s inaugural semester is almost at an end, but before students can leave for break most have a few finals to wrap up.
For many, this means seeking out a quiet location, free from the distractions of their residence hall or apartment.
During Finals Week, William Oxley Thompson Library fills to near capacity with these students as they pour over textbooks, write term papers, and review in group study rooms.
The library is never quite as crowded as it is during this time.
“We’re basically very busy from the time we open till, I would say, 10 o’clock in the evening and then the library starts to peter out,” said Tony Maniaci, circulation services coordinator at Thompson.
Because of the high number of people in the libraries, additional seats are added to accommodate the demand.
“During finals we get some additional temporary seating we put out that adds about another 100 seats on the ground floor, the first floor, so just over 2000 seats that are available during finals here in Thompson,” said Larry Allen, spokesman for OSU Libraries.
Despite the increase in students at the library , many still prefer to study in there.
“I find this is a pretty decent place to come and study, for the most part it’s pretty quiet here,” said Alex Tyrpak, a third-year in environmental science.
Tyrpak has not had any trouble finding a computer to work on, but has seen firsthand just how crowded Thompson can get.
“A couple of weeks ago it was pretty dead here in the evenings, and pretty much anytime you come here it’s packed during Finals Week,” said Tyrpak.
Even with the additional seating, some students have had difficulty finding space to work during peak hours.
Aisha Durley, a fourth-year in actuarial science, said she usually studies in Thompson, but recently has had trouble finding a seat.
“It always gets more crowded during Finals Week,” Durley said. “When it gets later in the evening, past ten or eleven, people start to leave and go home, but it’s still more crowded than it usually would be.”
Durley has five exams this semester, and plans on studying for all of them in Thompson.
From Dec. 4 to Dec. 11 Thompson is scheduled to remain open until 2 a.m., two hours past its normally closing time.
Durley plans to take advantage of the extra time.
“From midnight to 2 a.m. … I would say over the last two to three years we average around 300 to 350 people during that time period of hours,” Maniaci said.
It can be hard providing space for everyone who wants to go to the library during Finals Week, but Allen said he thinks OSU handles the challenge well.
“We do the best we can with that to add more seating and accommodate the requests that we get, but certainly during that time it’s tough to meet all the needs, but the rest of the time we do ok,” Allen said .
“Hopefully we’ve provided a comfortable environment where we’re busy and it’s full, but it’s not jammed up and uncomfortable.”