SUBMITTED BY: Stephen Tye
UCLA is shooting itself in the foot and making a mockery of itself by severely curtailing library hours in an attempt to balance the budget. Cutting library hours hurts students in the short term and leads the university away from its long-term educational mission.
Currently, UCLA offers library hours from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Furthermore, the library is completely closed on Saturdays and only opens Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. UCLA no longer offers an all-hours library. It is a service that UCLA should be keeping, as any student who attended Night Powell during years past will agree.
Compare this toUC Berkeley. Cal’s main Moffitt Library is open from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays.
Similarly, Harvard’s Lamont Library is open 24 hours a day Monday through Thursday, from midnight to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to midnight on Sundays.
Perhaps it’s not fair to compare UCLA to other elite universities. A comparison to California State University, Los Angeles might be more apt, since it’s suffering from the same budget crisis as we are and is nearby.
Cal State Los Angeles’ libraries are regularly open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, until 5 p.m. on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays.
UCLA may wish to consider itself a world-class university but a comparison of library services conclusively demonstrates that it is not. We may need to make tough cuts, but library services are not the place to start. UCLA must keep in mind its foremost purpose, to educate students.
Tye is a fourth-year economics and history student.