Pilot Policy starting Sunday, April 19 Group Study Rooms: 8-hr Time Limit During Finals Group Study Room Pilot Project
To the Setonian: Library Pilot for Spring ’15: Time Limits on Group Study Rooms During the 24/7 Period
We have had many complaints from students about Group Study Rooms being monopolized during Finals for 24, 36 or even 48 hours straight. We are aware that some students did not want these kinds of rules, but we are receiving more and more complaints each semester. So we are piloting this policy for this semester to try and set time limits on the use of Group Study Rooms during Finals, with fines in place for going over time. This pilot of a new policy would ensure a turnover of the rooms so that more students have access to them, and we want to try it this semester. We put a survey explaining/asking about this on the Libraries’ website for over a week before Spring Break, and we had around 300 responses: roughly 55% supported the idea and 45% didn’t support it. However, some of the angriest comments were from the “no” group, and we’ve adjusted the time periods and fines in response to those comments. We’re now reaching out to the Setonian to let the students know the pilot policy:
Two students must present their IDs to obtain a room key, which will have two barcodes (one to link to each ID – that way the time keeping is very easy) to check out the key to both of them. There will be a 8-hour time limit on use of the room during Finals. After 8 hours, both students must return the key, or each will be required to pay a fine of $3.00 per ¼ hour (15 minutes). There will be a $3.00 fine per person per each 15 minutes late – we’ll give a small grace period of 10 minutes if it is turned in a little late. (We’ll also give them a note saying what time the keys are due back when they check the key out, and that there are no renewals unless no one is on the waiting list for the room.) In this way, the room can be freed up for the next group of students who requested it, and more students will have access to the Group Study Rooms during a period of very high demand and heavy use. The next group will have no more than 8 hours to use it. A simple sign-up sheet will be used to reserve the next available room: students must show their SHU IDs and then can provide us with two phone numbers to text, or two e-mails to notify them of room availability. If they don’t show up to claim their room in 15 minutes, it will go to the next two people who signed up.
Please note that our goal is not to collect more fine monies. The goal is to distribute the rooms more widely for more students to use them during finals. We begin staying open 24/7 on April 19th – we wanted to reach out to the Setonian to inform students, but we’ll also put a couple of posters up in the entrance to the Library at the end of this week, a notice on our website, and the same information on our flat screen with our hours in the main reading room. Students will have plenty of notification that we’re piloting this policy – and that, by a 10 point margin in the survey they voted for it! There is one more piece of good news: we are making three more Group Study Rooms available in time for Finals – that’s six more rooms given over to the students in the last 2.5 years.