Georgia Southern’s Zach S. Henderson Library made cuts to its hours following the shutdown for COVID-19 last spring, leaving some night-owl students 32% less hours to study this spring.
After closing down last March alongside the university shut down in the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the library reopened two weeks later strictly on a “by appointment” basis, which was maintained all through spring and summer of 2020.
At the start of the fall 2020 semester, a sense of normal hours returned but with a 48% cut to its original hours, and on Saturdays, the library was completely closed. The spring semester of 2021 brought some hours back to the library, with the library being open 114.5 hours out of their original 168.
The change in hours has impacted some students working in a mostly online environment during the pandemic.
“I do feel like it is a hindrance, as far as people, especially with us juniors and seniors being older, a lot of us work, so it’d be great if we could come to the library when we get off work; the library’s just been a great source of information, just like a getaway from being at home or in a dorm,” Kyree Safford, a senior, said. “Now that we can’t do that, it’s a little bit harder, and now we’re doing online classes, so it’s kinda harder to focus.”
In addition to abiding by social distancing regulations and attempting to limit the spread of COVID-19, Access Services Department Head Jessica Garner stated that the change in hours was due to maintaining efficiency with student attendance.
“We looked at our statistics and looked at the hours that were most utilized by students, and made the best choice of opening the building based on the usage of when students were using the building,” Garner said.
To provide students with ample time to prepare for their exams, the library plans to extend their current hours the week before and the week during final exams. Starting the Sunday before final exam week, the library will be open 24-7 from Sunday to Thursday each week.
The library’s current hours are listed on their website.