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Library, computer lab keep doors open late

October 4, 2007

Students will now be able to study long into the night due to a differential tuition initiative that funds longer hours for the Chalmer Davee Library and the College of Business and Economics’ computer lab at UW-River Falls.

The library added 15 hours to its schedule to better accommodate students, library director Valerie Malzacher said.

The library is now open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and open until 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, according to the library Web site.

“I knew we needed extra hours to accommodate students who work during the day,” library employee Serena Weber said.

The longer hours only apply to the portion of the building housing the library; the lower level computer labs are not included in then new hours, according to the Library Web site. A late night visit to the library shows that students are already getting use out of the new hours.

“I like it a lot better because personally, I don’t have Internet, and I can come here to do research at night,” senior Margo Taylor said. “I’m busy and sometimes I can’t get research done during the day.”

Library staff have been impressed with the high volume of students using the library’s new hours so early in the semester.

“We’re really pleased with how many we’re seeing in the library,” Malzacher said. “We are keeping an hourly tally, and we’re seeing 20 to 30 people in the library between midnight and 1:00.”

The library is also adding close to 2,000 new scholarly journals to its catalogue, Malzacher said. The new journals include databases from JSTORE and Elsevier and will be accessible in the library and online via the library’s Web site.

“The library is really appreciative that the Student Senate approved the funding for longer library hours and scholarly journals to benefit the students,” Malzacher said.

A 24-hour computer lab is also being made available as a result of the differential tuition initiative. The lab is located in South Hall 221 and will be open weekly from 3 p.m. on Sunday until 4 p.m. on Friday, according to a press release from the College of Business and Economics.

“It’s a great opportunity for students who work and take evening courses,” Computer Science Professor Ahmad Abuhejleh said.

The lab will be staffed 24-hours by student employees.

“I think it will be nice when I get really busy with work,” student Jacob Meier said.

The new hours are made possible by a differential tuition initiative that passed spring semester, budget director Kristen Hendrickson said.

Differential tuition is an additional fee added on to undergraduate tuition that funds several new projects across campus. A yearly fee of $72 for full-time undergraduate students has been implemented with part-time students paying a pro-rated amount based on their credit load, Hendrickson said.

“The rate is fixed for four years, so there won’t be any adjustments made to the rate,” she said.

Last semester an oversight committee consisting of staff, faculty and six student representatives passed the initiative to fund various projects across campus, Hendrickson said.

“We’ve asked the library to collect data on how many students are in fact using the extended hours,” she said. “We are going to be keeping track of how many students are coming in during those hours to make sure that the funding is being used appropriately.”