Fulton Library staff test-run Sunday hours

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The Fulton Library will be open on Sundays from 1-9 p.m. for a trial period starting Feb. 19 until June 30.

The goal of the trail period is to determine if the traffic of students coming in to study on Sundays is large enough to support a permanent change.

The library staff has been pushing to get Sunday hours going for some time and it wasn’t until recently that they received the funding for more staff.

Before the Library moved from the Losee Center in 2008, the library was open on Sunday for two years. This was unsuccessful with a low number of students who attended according to Lesli Baker, library director since 2014.

Even though there have been extended hours the week before and during finals since 2009, the growing number of student requests for Sunday hours is difficult to ignore. Baker said that the percentage of students who have requested that the library stay open on Sundays from their last survey posted in 2014 has likely increased.

“From the responses from our surveys, we were seeing about 30 percent of the students saying that they would use the Sundays hours regularly,” Baker said.

Online surveys such as Omnibus have shown student and faculty suggestions for the library to have Sunday hours. The staff intends to rely on their data to show the traffic of students as well as taking headcount.

“We’re here to serve all students. We want to meet whatever needs we can with the staff and the funding that we have,” Baker said.

Kim Rollins, library assistant director of public services, said that UVU has unique Sunday hours compared to other public institutions in Utah.

“We’re the only public institution in Utah that is not open on Sundays and for a while that was ok, it was part of the culture, but now we’re looking into what’s based on the demand,” she said.

Annie Smith, reference and instruction librarian, said that being open on Sunday could benefit traditional students as well as nontraditional students. Younger students who may not have a family to support or live in a noisy apartment might want to find a quiet space to study.

“Honestly, my philosophy is that we need to be here to help the students as much we can and part of that is being available on Sundays because sometimes that’s the only time that they have,” Smith said.

Victoria Ferreira, an elementary education major, said that Sunday hours wouldn’t be beneficial to her because of how she considers Sundays to be sacred and reserved for family, but could be open to going if there was ever a situation which called for it.

David Veit, English major and managing editor of undergraduate journal Intersections, said that this trial period is necessary for everyone.

“Offering more available hours to students is an obvious and overdue decision. I understand the concept of Sunday as a sacred day of rest in this community, but the simple, secular, and non-political fact is that more access to the Fulton Library cannot be a negative thing for any student. I support the hours and the inevitable benefits to students,” Veit said.

The decision to make Sunday library hours permanent will be made once the staff receives their budget for the next year.