UC Berkeley will be extending library hours at select locations in order to compensate for the closing of Moffitt Library next semester.
According to Elizabeth Dupuis, senior associate university librarian, campus emergency relief funding is providing the necessary library funds for the extension of operations at Doe Library, Main Stacks, the Engineering Library, the East Asian Library, the Environmental Design Library, Morrison Library and Graduate Services.
Doe Library and Main Stacks will be extending hours from Sunday through Thursday until 2 a.m., while the other libraries will be open until midnight on those days, Dupuis stated. In order to support the extended hours at the libraries, additional staff members are currently being hired.
“To support the extended hours for spring semester, the Library is currently hiring additional evening/weekend work leaders and additional student employees,” Dupuis said in an email. “Once those positions are filled and the new staff onboarded, we will be launching the increased hours.”
According to ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President James Weichert, the ASUC Office of Academic Affairs has also been working with senior campus administrators to locate study spaces and “surge space” for students.
Currently, conference rooms across campus, the Cesar Chavez building and the MLK Student Union are being considered.
“Given that Moffitt is such an important study and meeting space for a lot of students, we need to identify quite a few spaces for ‘surge space’ next semester,” Weichert said in an email. “As students, we know first hand the importance of good study spaces that are accessible, quiet, and open late.”
Weichert noted in order to support additional hours of the Doe Library and Main Stacks, there will be additional funding committed.
However, Weichert believes this plan is “too little too late,” adding that the extra revenue they collect from not staffing Moffitt next semester should have gone to keeping Moffitt open for extended hours during the fall semester and keeping additional libraries open for longer hours during the spring semester.
“In short, the library can’t expect us to spend our money on extended hours and additional staffing if it is not willing to do the same for libraries like Moffitt, Doe, and Main Stacks,” Weichert said in an email.
During conversations with the administration, Weichert said in an email that he is making an effort to ensure the library is providing enough study spaces for students as well.
In addition, Dupuis hopes libraries can continue to be comfortable and productive spaces for students on campus.
“We’ve heard from students that studying alongside others helps them with motivation and focus, which can be especially hard to come by during challenging times like these,” Dupuis said in an email. “For all these reasons and more, we recognize the importance of study and learning spaces to our community.”