Q. Why the university currently does not have a 24-hour library? How many staff members needed to work a 24-hour library?
Unfortunately, we do not currently have the staff to support keeping the library open 24/7. Even though we are not physically open 24/7, we do try to address students’ needs 24/7 as much as we can. Our online resources are available to students, faculty, and staff from off-campus, we offer chat support 24 hours a day, we answer Ask A Librarian questions submitted through the web site or SMS within 24 hours of receipt, even when the library is closed, and we have several unlocked study rooms that are available for student use on a first come, first served basis at any time the One Main Building is open. The question of what open hours we can support and what services we can provide is revisited periodically as demand changes.
If you are interested in finding out more about staffing a 24-hour library, please try using LibSearch from the library’s home page. A keyword search for “library staffing 24 hours” turns up several articles that look like they will address this question.
There is no “magic number” of staff needed to work a 24-hour library. That number will vary by library, and by what services are provided 24-hours, and what the personnel budget allows. It would also depend on what kind of shifts are set – does one person work all night, do two people split the overnight hours, does the same person do it all the time or is there a rotation? And then you have to multiply that by however many desks would be covered. Will there be security overnight? If so, a security guard (or two) are needed as well.