On the seventh day, God rested from his long week of nonstop work. But God wasn’t in college.
For most students, a typical Sunday involves dressing up nice and spending time with the family and neighbors. But for some, squeezing in study time for the upcoming school week is just as important. Sunday hours at the UVU library could be a saving grace for such students.
The UVU library was briefly open on Sundays during 1999 to 2000. But not enough people came to justify the costs of keeping it open.
In order to run the library, one must take into account hiring additional custodial staff, coordinate with providers to run utilities for an extra day and other factors that have a ripple effect across the rest of the campus.
Library Director Michael Freeman has thought about opening Sundays for years. “We’re neither for nor against opening on Sundays,” said Freeman, “but if there was enough of a demand for it, we’d certainly do it.” The library even asks about working Sunday hours during hiring interviews.
Last fall, the library conducted a student poll to see if opening on Sundays was more than an anecdotal request.
Out of 539 students, one third said they agreed it’d be a good idea, and of that third, 20 percent said they’d most likely come on Sundays only during finals. Because of this, the library has sent in a proposal that this year they open the Sunday just before finals.
“It may take just doing it and see,” said Freeman. He noted that if last year’s poll accurately reflects to the student body, it wouldn’t be implausible to imagine around 1,000 students who’d likely come to the library Sundays.
Other state university libraries throughout Utah are open Sundays, the exceptions being Salt Lake Community College and our own campus. But joining the crowd isn’t a good reason to open Sundays – most of the other universities have dorms on campus, whereas UVU is a commuter school, and driving down on Sunday just to study may not be an appealing idea to most students.
More importantly, one should keep in mind that many students like to eat at the café, browse the library’s vast catalog of films, and use the Internet in addition to studying for classes. The library is certainly no clubhouse, but it provides a multimedia chill spot in a town where there aren’t many spots to go hang out with friends during a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Those who believe they’d visit the library on Sundays often enough to merit administrative action should seek the aid of student government.
Ultimately, Freeman is right, and it may take just trying a few Sundays to see if students come. But as the student population continues to rise, it may be in our best long-term interest to give the idea a chance.