|UW-Eau Claire||News Bureau|
|Schofield Hall 218|
|Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
MAILED: Jan. 16, 1997
EAU CLAIRE - For the past year, students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have been able to study round-the-clock in McIntyre Library, and the program has been a success, said Cleo Powers, acting director of McIntyre Library and circulation librarian.
It's the only library in the UW System to be open 24 hours a day, said Powers. The idea began during the 1991-92 year when, through a library building project, students lost the 24-hour reserve study space. That space was remodeled for an 80-station microcomputer lab.
"When the East Blugold area (of Davies Center) was too noisy, students came to us for help," Powers said. "We decided the easiest way to serve people was to open the building."
Powers said most library users are gone by 2 a.m., and almost everybody is gone by 3 a.m. Most patrons are using the microcomputer labs, and few people stay the entire night.
"There are computers, plenty of light and no time limit," said Tina Zaloudek, a junior communication major from Sarona. "It's really nice to have access to the computers."
While some people come for the computers, others simply need a quiet place to study. Jeremy Swanson, a third-year major in history and political science from Sun Prairie, likes the late-night hours because there are few people around. "I get more done than in the dorms because there isn't as much going on around me," he said.
Powers said some people prefer to come to the library only late at night for ease in looking for and checking out materials. Because students recognize that the program is a service that could be discontinued, there have been no significant problems with messes or security, Powers said. "Students really do like a quiet, secure place where they can study," she said.
Library staff make at least three rounds of the library a night, and public safety take random walks through the building. For security reasons, the cash register is closed at midnight with no fine payments received, no copy refunds given and no off-campus user cards issued.
"It's a much safer environment for our workers than working third shift at a convenience store," said Powers. She said they haven't had problems finding students to work the late hours. The night crew organizes books for shelving and reshelving, and helps with special projects.
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UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 22, 1997