A service that will turn 10 years old in October is no more as K-State announced last Friday that Hale Library will no longer be open 24 hours during the regular school year.
The decrease in hours comes after university-wide budget cuts caused Hale to lose almost a million dollars in general funding over the past two years. The same cuts resulted in a 5.8 percent increase to student tuition for the 2016 fiscal year.
The cuts are expected to save Hale $110,000 annually.
“Unfortunately, this latest cut will primarily impact students,” Dean of Libraries Lori Goetsch said in a press release. “Reduced building access limits access to computers, internet access, printers, and scanners, spaces for both group collaboration and quiet study — all key to the academic lives of K-State students. We are working with the smallest Libraries budget in a decade, and we have to make adjustments according to our financial reality.”
Hale will open at 7:30 a.m. every weekday morning and close at midnight except for Fridays where they will close at 8 p.m. The Library help desk will be open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. except for Friday when they close at 8 p.m.
On weekends, they will open at 1 p.m. and close at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and midnight on Sundays. The help desk will be open during all Saturday hours but will close at 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Adam Carr, a sophomore in human resources and a library help desk employee, said that while the Hale’s hours are changing, student hours will remain consistent thanks to the help desk opening earlier and closing later than it did in past semesters.
The more difficult part of the cuts, Carr said, is making sure that everyone on campus knows about the changes.
“The hardest part of the transition is just getting everyone up to date on the new hours,” Carr said. “I think there might be some confusion at the start of the semester.”
And while the library as a whole will be closed, several services will still be available despite the curtailed hours.
Those services include the “Ask a Librarian” service, which will still be staffed for more than 80 hours a week, the continued availability of the Anita C. Lehner 24 hour Study Area located on the first floor which contains six computers a printer, two self-checkout machines on the second floor which will still be available after the help desk is closed and all online resources will still be available all day, every day.
Hale will remain open all 24 hours throughout both dead week and finals week.
In addition to the decrease in hours, Hale is also cutting a few research materials by discontinuing several journal subscriptions as the costs of those subscriptions have increased more than 21 percent since 2010.
The library first moved toward being opened 24/7 on Oct. 3, 2006. At the time, the hours were extended because of the influx of traffic Hale received between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. according to a July 16 article in the Collegian.
At the time, the two biggest expected expenses were custodial and security costs, the same two expenses cited in Friday’s press release for the reduction of hours.
Check back with the Collegian next week for updates on Hale’s new hours.