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Hayden Now Closes at Midnight


Gabor Csanyi--The Tech
Hayden Memorial Library now closes at midnight.

By Yaron Koren
Staff Reporter

As a result of financial problems, the Charles M. Hayden Memorial Library's hours have been cut.

The library, which offers collections in both science and humanities, has traditionally been open to students 24 hours a day. It now closes promptly at midnight and opens at 8 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays and at noon on Sundays.

The new hours have been in effect since July 1 of this year.

According to David S. Ferriero, associate director for public services of the MIT Libraries, the decision was a result of long-term cuts. "For the past three years, each department has been asked [by the provost] to reduce their budget by 2% a year," he said. "At some point, something had to give," he said.

Student reaction to changes sparse

Student reaction has been low-key so far, according to Anand Mehta G, a graduate student member of the Student Services Re-engineering team. "I'm not sure how many people actually used the library after midnight," he said. Mehta added that the SSR team has received only seven complaints about the new hours so far. Complaints can be sent to studentserve@mit.edu.

Students needing study space should use the Student Center reading room and random classrooms are open at night, Mehta said.

Graduate Student Council President Barbara J. Souter G expressed a similar view. She said that only one graduate student she talked to had been very upset by the decision to shorten library hours. She noted, however, that graduate students are probably less affected by the rescheduling than undergraduates. "Graduate students often have their own offices to study in," she said.

"Our theory is that it might be useless to complain about it, and since it was caused by fiscal problems, [returning to the old schedule] might lead to worse problems, like fewer librarians or resources," she said.

Russell S. Light '98, treasurer of the Undergraduate Association, expressed disappointment at the decision. "It was very convenient for people to study late at night."

"It's not an overriding concern for most people," Light noted. He said that he did expect the issue to come up on the UA agenda sometime this year.

Ferriero said that a return to the old schedule in the near future is "possible, but not something I see as very likely to happen."