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Waldo Library launches extended hours

Nov. 29, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Just in time to give harried students a time to finish papers and prepare for fall semester finals, Western Michigan University's Waldo Library will extend its hours of operation to 3 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays beginning Monday Dec. 4.

For the final 10 days of the semester--through Thursday, Dec. 14, Waldo will offer full services for an extended set of hours. The library will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following morning, Monday through Thursday of both weeks. The library also will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday.

According to Dr. Joseph Reish, dean of University Libraries, such extended full-service hours will become a staple of the final 10 days of each semester going forward. And, he notes, extended library hours will become a permanent feature of campus life at WMU.

"We're a research university, and we want our students to have access to the library when they need it most," Reish says. "We're happy to do this."

When students return in January for the spring semester, they'll be greeted by the same extended hours at Waldo, but full library services will be offered only until midnight Mondays through Thursdays. From midnight until 3 a.m., only the first floor of Waldo Library will remain open, offering a location for extended study hours. Library services will not be available, but patrons will have access to computers, the Internet, copying machines and printing services.

Reish says intense planning for extended hours has been under way for the past two weeks and the response from library staff to shifting hours has been positive.

"We know this is something students have requested, and, in keeping with President Haenicke's emphasis on retention, the library staff wants to get behind measures to improve service for students," Reish says. "The staff was receptive, but there were still a number of other issues that needed to be addressed, including security."

Since Waldo Library is a public facility, Reish points out that the extended hours could attract nonstudents as well, and the late closure times will mean students should plan to take full advantage of campus security amenities, such as escort services, when leaving the building late. Escort drivers will be available for the 3 a.m. library closing, and they will offer transportation to any location on campus, including residence halls and parking lots.

Over the coming months, Reish says, Waldo Library will undergo a gradual reconfiguration that will eventually mean students will have access to the lower level of the library during the midnight to 3 a.m. extended study period, and they will be able to use the library's vending machines and microwaves.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

WMU News
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