The UTM library will be open 24 hours a day five days a week after March 25. The extra week of extended exam hours at the library will be a pilot run in order to determine whether or not the additional costs are warranted.
Amy Mullin, vice-principal academic and dean, has approved the cost of approximately $2,000 in the hope of gaining more information on library usage.
“There are always multiple competing worthy demands for funding, whether for services funded directly by students or services funded by the university, and the information we gather about the use of the library in this week will be helpful in assessing how high a priority extended hours for the library during certain peak periods might be,” Mullin said.
Chief librarian Mary Ann Mavrinac, who recently announced the move on the library’s website, says library usage greatly increases before exam time.
She also explained that the funding covers security, which will need to be present from when the library opens on Sundays at 12 p.m. straight through to midnight on Friday.
“There may well be other indirect costs—for example, extra cleaning costs,” Mullin said. “I expect the extended hours will be of real benefit to some students at such a key time, but we will have to wait and see how many find these extended hours to be particularly useful.”
The change is largely the result of the continuous advocacy of Aly Madhavji, a student and member of the Governing Council.
“The process has been long but rewarding,” Madhavji said. “Many students have brought this issue up to me. I’ve been told by both commuter and residence students that they want this service, and I’ve spoken with students from all disciplines […] through my term as Residence Council president.”
Support for the extension appears widespread.
“I would love it. Sometimes I come in early in the morning and the library is not open,” said Sadaf, a third-year biology student. “Then at night I have to leave in order to catch the last bus home.”
“My expectations are that it will be put to good use,” says Madhavji. “We are looking at increasing the 24/5 service substantially in the future if there is demand, and we can work around the costs.”