Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

“Open for 24 Hours”: Lessons from the North West University Library Services

Sabelo Chizwina, Siviwe Bangani, Mathew Moyo

Abstract


The purpose of this paper is to report on the lessons learnt by North West University Library Services with regards to extending library opening hours for 24 hours from Monday to Fridays during the November/December examination period in 2015. This time, the call by students for a 24-hour physical library services was part of the much talked about ‘free quality education’ coupled by the popular hash tag, #feesmustfall. In the case of the Mafikeng Campus of NWU, the protests began in the library when students staged a “sit-in” on the night of 20 October 2016, demanding that the library must open for 24-hours. As a compromise, management acceded to the students’ demands having considered the time that was lost when the campus was closed due to continued students protests. Although the students were demanding for a permanent 24 hour physical library service, management only agreed to open the library on a trial basis during the delayed November – December 2015 examination period. In order to extend the library hours, volunteers from the library staff opened the library from 22:00 to 07:00.  The major lesson learnt was that students were not primarily in the library for library transactions but rather for a conducive study environment despite the existence of a 24 hour study Centre being located in the basement of the library. This shows the need for the reconfiguration of the library’s 24 hour study Centre into a space that supports independent study. Libraries can support students if they are able to recreate the environment in the library in their 24 Hour Study Centres.


Keywords


cademic libraries; library spaces; library services; independent study

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ajala, I. O., Arinola, A. A. and Adigun, G. O. 2014. Extended Hours in Academic Libraries: the Experiences of Three Public Universities in South Western Nigeria. American International Journal of Contemporary Research 4(4): 165-172.

Arant, W. and Benefiel, C. R. 2008. Hours of Operation and Service in Academic Libraries: Toward a National Standard. Public Services Quarterly 1(1): 71-85.

Bonny, C. 2016. SASCO and EFF Julius Malema NWU Mafikeng Campus Fees Must Fall 2016https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xjpk6zXyCJI (accessed 23, August 2016).

Coldwell, W. 2013. Late night libraries offer busy students more flexibility: But do they create an unhealthy attitude to work? The Guardian, 12 Mar. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/mar/12/24-hour-library-people (accessed 23, August 2016)

Lei, S.A. 2015. Variation in study patterns among college students: a review of literature. College Student Journal 49(2): 195 - 200.

Laaker, S., 2011. Keeping the doors open: Exploring 24-hour library access at Washington University in St. Louis. Research Library Issues: A Bimonthly Report from ARL, CNI, and SPARC 277: 15-25.

Lawrence, P. and Weber, L. 2012. Midnight-2.00 a.m. : what goes on at the library? New Library World 113 (11/12): 528 – 548.

Malepe, M. E and Matlanyana, T. 2014. PASMA Gauteng Provincial Manifesto: 2014 UNISA SRC elections!! Mayihlome, 28 Jan. http://mayihlomenews.co.za/pasma-gauteng-provincial-manifesto-2014-unisa-src-elections/ (accessed 23, August 2016).

Missingham, R. 2014. 24 hour access ANU Library: Chifley Branch Library. Australian National University. http://anulib.anu.edu.au/files/document-collection/briefing-paper-24-7_0.pdf (accessed 23, August 2016).

Motsai, E. and Toyana, M. 2013. SRC campaigns at a glance. Wits Vuvuzela, 23 Aug. http://witsvuvuzela.com/2013/08/23/src-campaigns-at-a-glance/ (accessed, 23 August 2016).

Mungroo, M. 2015. Society of political science students hosts SRC election debate. Durban: University of Kwazulu-Natal. http://sss.ukzn.ac.za/news/15-11-05/society_of_political_science_students_hosts_src_election_debate (accessed 23, August 2016).

Richards, M. 2016. 24/7 Library hours at an Urban Commuter College. Urban Library Journal, 22 (1). http://academicworks.cuny.edu/ulj/vol22/iss1/2 (accessed 23, August 2016).

Sanders, M. & Hodges, C. 2014. An Overnight Success? Usage Patterns and Demographics of Academic Library Patrons during the Overnight Period from 11 p.m.–8 a.m. Journal of Access Services 11(4): 309-320. DOI: 10.1080/15367967.2014.945121

Scarletto, E.A., Burhanna, K.J. & Richardson, E. 2013. Wide Awake at 4AM: A Study of Late Night User Behavior, Perceptions and Performance at an Academic Library. The Journal of Academic Librarianship 39:371-377.

Smith, F. 2008. 24 hour service at Georgia Southern University: 1989–2007. Journal of Access Services 5 (1-2): 69-83.

South Africa. 1997. Basic Conditions of Employment Act 75 of 1997.

Steele, P. A. and Walters, C. 2001. Extended library hours: a spec kit. Washington, D.C.: Association of Research Libraries

Williams, A. 2014. Free on-campus healthcare tops Sasco’s election list. Herald Live, 29 Aug.http://www.heraldlive.co.za/free-campus-healthcare-tops-sascos-election-list/ (accessed 23, August 2016).




DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/0027-2639/1918

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.