UCD are to open a 24-hour supervised student study facility early next month in an attempt to alleviate demand on the James Joyce Library. The opening hours of the library have been cut in a bid to reduce running costs.
The University Observer understands that the study area will be located in the space underneath the campus restaurant, adjacent to the Rendez-Vous lounge area on the basement floor. The venue was chosen due to the nearby provision of vending machines and toilet facilities, as well as the presence of wireless internet facilities and internet-ready SUAS terminals.
The James Joyce Library currently closes at 5:30pm on Saturdays, and is closed completely on Sundays. Students’ Union President, Gary Redmond, explained that opening hours have been cut in line with the University’s requirement “to reduce staff costs by three per cent in all units.”
Redmond added that “Donnacha [Ó Súilleabháin, SU Education Officer] and myself met with the Registrar, the Deputy Registrar for Teaching & Learning, and Joint Directors of the Library last week to restate our position on library opening hours.”
It remains unclear whether the SU will be taking any action to express its discontent at the cut in opening hours. In previous years, the SU has organised library sit-ins in protest against reductions in library opening hours.
A spokesperson for UCD cited the lack of weekend usage for the reduction in library hours, saying that “Sundays are the quietest day in the library, and in the current economic climate it was decided to close on Sundays.”
However, the library opening hours are due to be extended from November 9th to accommodate students studying for assignments and end-of-semester examinations. During this period, there will be no issue desk service on a Sunday.
The provision of the 24-hour reading area was established by a staff-student committee which investigated the feasibility of providing an area for 24-hour supervised student study.