McDermott Library Expands to 24/5 Schedule
Overnight Hours Added Five Days a Week for Students, Faculty, Staff
The Eugene McDermott Library will be open 35 additional hours per week with the expanded schedule, which begins Sunday.
The Eugene McDermott Library is increasing its hours beginning Sunday. With the new schedule, the library will be open 24 hours a day during the week and offer expanded hours on the weekends.
The change, spearheaded by UT Dallas’ Student Government, amounts to 35 additional hours per week. The library will be open from 8 a.m. Sunday until midnight Friday, and on Saturday, it will be open from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Expanding library hours was one of the major campaign goals Student Government president Brooke Knudtson and vice president Nancy Fairbank touted while running for office.
“Student Government is so grateful to work with an administration that listens to student needs. Students have been requesting longer library hours for the last few years, and we are very excited that this initiative is coming to fruition,” Fairbank said. “Having a 24/5 library is just another step that UT Dallas is taking to reach Tier One status.”
New Library Hours
Sunday-Friday: All hours from 8 a.m. Sunday to midnight Friday
Saturday: 8 a.m. to midnight
Discussions to change the hours began last summer with numerous meetings between Student Government, Dr. Ellen Safley, dean of the library, and Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, executive vice president and provost. Plans for the new hours were finalized after the fall semester began.
In addition to the expanded hours, the library will stay open around Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. In the past, the library was not open when the campus closed for the breaks. Now, customers can access materials during the days before and after the holidays. The library will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
“I think with the expansion of library hours, students will have the opportunity to utilize the University’s resources to their fullest capacity,” Knudtson said. “The expanded library hours will provide a constantly available study environment that will help facilitate student learning.”
Safley said there were lots of things to consider before the hours were expanded. “We had to look at our services and see which ones made the most sense to offer during the late hours.”
The Access and Delivery Services desk in the lobby will be open overnight, so students can check out materials. Customers will not be able to place orders with Interlibrary Loan (ILL) during the late hours. Previously ordered ILL items can be picked up at the services desk. Those wanting to check out media should also go to the services desk for assistance.
To facilitate the extended hours, the library staff has added 11 new positions, including a senior librarian, library assistants and a systems software specialist. The new positions will cover the overnight schedule and weekends.
“The move to a 24/5 schedule is a natural progression for academic libraries. Many other large universities in Texas already operate on this type of schedule, so this change is proof that McDermott Library is moving in the right direction,” Safley said.
In January, card readers will be installed on the doors to prevent those without Comet Cards from entering the library overnight.
The library and Student Government will celebrate the expanded hours at an event at 10 p.m. Jan. 15 inside the library. Students, staff and faculty are invited.Multimedia Department Finds More Space in New Home
The Multimedia Services Department, home to the McDermott Library’s film collection, digital cameras, calculators and other media-related equipment, has moved. Multimedia, which was previously at the back of the library, is now at the front of the building near the Eugene McDermott Auditorium in MC 2.408.
The move gives the department more space for DVDs, audio books, tripods and other equipment. Kristen Palmiere, head of Access and Delivery Services, said the transition has been an easy one.
“When the space at the front of the library became available, we knew it would be a great place for Multimedia,” she said. “The entire department is a very popular part of the library. Having it at the front will attract even more traffic.”
Multimedia staff member Slavko Ravlija said the move not only helps students but the collection as well.
“The new location is more convenient and accessible for students,” he said. “They don’t have to walk to the back anymore. With a larger room, it helps us grow our collection and add more media equipment for students, staff and faculty.”
Many of the items in Multimedia are used to support classroom instruction and research at UT Dallas. The future of the department’s former location is still undecided. Palmiere said the space may eventually become a study room.
“We’re still meeting and discussing how best to utilize the space. Clearly, student use is the most important part of the equation,” she said.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].