Library hours to be extended

Students will no longer have to search for a quiet place in the middle of the night to cram for a test — the USF Library is now open 24 hours, five days a week.

Student Government’s (SG) “24/5” project will keep the first floor of the Library open  from midnight to 7:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, said Nancy Cunningham, director of Academic Services.

Two security guards will be on duty for all operating hours. The extended hours will only be implemented during the fall and spring semesters because the Library isn’t used as much in the summer, Cunningham said.

 SG Vice President Bruno Portigliatti said that based on data collected from the fall semester, the first floor is enough to accommodate the students that would take advantage of the extended hours.

But that could change depending on how many students use this service.

Security guards and Library personnel will conduct head counts every two hours to find out how many people are using the building after hours, Cunningham said.

“One of our big concerns is always student safety,” she said. “So, we are completing a policy that says that if you are in the building after midnight, you need to show a valid student ID and if you want to remain in the building, you must possess a student or USF ID.”

Under the “USF ID and Use of Library Facility Policy,” one security guard will check IDs at the Library entrance, and the other guard will patrol the first floor and check the other floors to make sure they are empty, Cunningham said.

The circulation desk, where students can check out a laptop or book and use a printer, will also remain open during the extended hours, Cunningham said.

The extra cost to hire two security guards and staff the circulation desk during these hours is $25,000, which is funded by the Library’s existing budget for the spring semester. Portigliatti said none of the funds included student-paid Activity and Service Fees.

If the service continues,  Portigliatti said funds will have to be found elsewhere.

“Students have wanted extended library hours for years now,” Portigliatti said. “We really wanted to provide this service for students because we know how important this service is.”

Hours for the Library’s other floors will remain the same: Sunday from noon to midnight, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.