At RUSU’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 26 November it was announced that the University have approved 24-hour opening of the Library on campus during term time.
Vice-Chancellor David Bell and RUSU Education Officer Emma Jackson were the people to break the news, which was met with a resounding round of applause.
The 24-hour opening will begin around March/April 2014 and will include the revision and exam period in the summer term, like it did during the trial period last year, but this time the 24-hour opening will resume at the start of the next academic year. However, during the new opening hours the Library will close every Saturday evening between 9pm and Sunday 8.30am for essential work to be carried out.
Julia Munro, Head of Library Services at the University, said: “The 24-hour opening is a great win for everyone. The Library is delighted with the news and I just encourage students to use it now it is available.” Although the opening will be a logistical challenge for the Library, the pilot of last year will have given them a lot of experience. Students will also be pleased to hear that Café Libro will also be extending its opening hours and will open from 9am to 11pm.
This will start alongside the 24-hour opening of the Library but students will be able to sit in the café even when it is closed to eat their food. The Library: “would like to remind all students that all food and drink, except bottled water, should be consumed in this area only and students are more than welcome to bring their own food to eat in the Library café.”
The Library 24 campaign was strengthened by the Reading University Conservative Association in November 2012 who aimed to secure 24-hour library access for all Reading University students. By April 2013, their online petition had gained over 1,000 signatures and in this month the University was already trialling a period of opening the Library for 24 hours.
Currently, the Library opening hours are from 8.30-0.00 Monday-Thursday, 8.30-19.00 on Fridays and 11.00-21.00 at the weekends, so the 24-hour opening will be of great significance to all students at Reading.
With the finished refurbishment of the 2nd and 5th floors and with further refurbishments planned for the 3rd and 4th floors in summer 2014, the University is doing all it can to support students, maximizing the use of the raised tuition fees.
Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “We’re delighted that our library will be open 24/7 from April 2014. We always listen carefully to what students tell us. We’ve been working closely with the Students Union over the last year and conducted a successful pilot during the summer exam season. The University of Reading prides itself ourselves on offering the very best student experience. The new opening hours, combined with a recent £2m refurbishment of the library, means students will have access to first-class study facilities around the clock.”
Emma Jackson, RUSU’s Education Officer, commented: “This new provision is fantastic! We will now have an environment that provides all necessary learning resources at all times! An environment, which caters for everybody, allows the flexibility for student parents, working students, as well
as early risers and nocturnal learners.”
“This would not have been possible without students’ voice. A culmination from strong continued pressure year on year from RUSU, with campaigns such as ‘Round the Clock’ (2007) and ‘Love your Library?’ (2010), as well as small satellite campaigns by current students and most importantly YOUR voice in the National Students Survey and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, we would not be where we are today. Student feedback, along with strong representation has ensured that the University did not just acknowledge your voice, but have acted upon on it.”
“It has been at the forefront of the RUSU agenda for almost a decade now, and I can safely say we are absolutely thrilled with the news!”