I get distracted very easily, and while there is no place more comfortable to do my homework than my own room, there are quite a lot of distractions there. Consequently, if I really wish to get any work done, I must first find a place where I will not constantly be distracted. I happen to be a relatively social person, so any place with lots of people just won’t be a suitable work environment for me. Though coffee shops are great place to get work done for many individuals, I would be perpetually preoccupied by the continuous flow of people, even if didn’t speak to a single one of them.
For me pretty much the only option is isolation, as complete as I can make it. Since I am not lucky enough to own a small cabin off in the woods somewhere, I find that when I need to get a lot of work done, the next best substitute is the Eugene S. Farley Library. Specifically the back corner of the top floor, where there seems to be fewer people than the rest of the building.
Up there I find it easier to focus on work because, for the most part, the only distractions I have to contend with are the ones created by my own mind. While these mental diversions are just as disruptive as others, the later it gets, the fewer of these I experience. I am very much a night person and usually my productivity increases as the skies grow darker. Eventually my cerebral voyeurs subside almost entirely and I am able to be quite studious. It is around this time that the lights snap off, and then back on, informing me that the library is preparing to close.
The frustrates me thoroughly. I swear that sometimes the librarian is hiding between the bookshelves, spying covertly from the cover provided by the rows of publications. He waits patiently until I have clearly finally focused on my work, and then gleefully pulls out a remote with a single, red button on it. After a maniacal little snicker, he presses the button, the lights go out, and all the students who were just now intently studying are now preparing to leave the library.
Ideally, the entire library would be open 24 hours throughout the week. Though this may seem excessive, it is important to remember that Farley Library is not a community library; it is an academic one. Studying, and the pursuit of knowledge may take place at any time of day, whether incredibly early in the morning, or exceedingly late at night. Naturally, students should be able to access the library whenever they feel it would assist their academics.
While keeping the whole library open may seem unnecessary, one must consider those students who have resigned themselves to the dreaded all-nighter. Having the resources available in the library accessible at any time could be very useful to the student who is cramming last minute for a test, or desperately in need of a final source for a paper. Also there may be someone who simply cannot sleep, or could find no other time to meet with a project partner. Admittedly, there is usually less studying going on during the weekend, so it wouldn’t be a great loss for the library to close then, but even if the hours allowed continuous access from 6 A.M. Sunday to 6 P.M. Friday, or something similar, that would still be a significant improvement over the current hours.
I realize that the issue of staff must be considered, but there are many students who are always looking for more work study hours. Who knows, a few more shifts might help some off-campus student upgrade from Ramen noodles to macaroni and cheese for dinner. If there are students who are willing to drag themselves to the library in the wee hours of the night to inundate themselves with information for a test that they will have forgotten by this time next year, then there are most certainly students willing to be paid for watching over the library at those hours.
Though Wilkes plans to make some changes and keep the basement open 24 hours, students would not have access to the resources available on other floors. I propose, that at the very least, the rest of the library should be open until 2 A.M. from Sunday to Thursday. This would allow those students that study better at night as well as students that have other obligations including work, sports, clubs, etc. to visit at the times that are most conducive and convenient to their own situations.
As I previously mentioned, Farley library is an academic library, and should therefore be accessible whenever the forces of academia find themselves in need of it’s myriad services and functions. This would promote diligence, and perhaps even reduce traffic earlier in the day as students would now have the option of staying later, and possibly feel less pressured to finish their work before the library closes.