Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Extended library opening hours: 8.30 am opening in term

We have had requests via the Staff-Student Liaison Committees for both PGCE and MSc/DPhil for extended library opening hours. PGCE students have generally asked for earlier opening during the week, and for longer weekend hours. MSc and DPhil students have asked for later opening hours in the week, and for longer weekend opening hours.

Although we would love to be able to extend our opening hours, there is sadly no funding available to pay for the extra staffing required to do so. We have considered the possibility of shifting our existing hours (to open earlier and close earlier, for example), but this would not solve the problem, given the conflicting requests from different student groups for both earlier and later opening.

Equally, once all PGCE interns are in school throughout the week, later opening may well be of more use than early opening.

In practice, we generally open earlier than our advertised opening time, which is 8.45am Monday to Friday during PGCE term. As soon as a member of staff is in the library, we allow people to come in and start using the computers and collections while we are opening up. However, we appreciate that it is more helpful to have a guaranteed time when the library will be staffed.

We are proposing changing our official term-time opening time to 8.30am, with immediate effect. This means that the library will be open 12 hours a day, 8.30am to 8.30pm Monday to Thursday. Hopefully, this will be of some help to people who travel in early.

For any students who would like later opening hours, it may be helpful to know that some of the much larger Oxford libraries are open until 10pm, Monday to Thursday (Bodleian, Social Science Library, Radcliffe Science Library). If you mainly need to print, photocopy or read quietly, these may be useful options for later in the evening.

We hope that this helps a bit, and are sorry not to be able to do more!

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