Located on South Street, St Mary’s College has been home to the School of Divinity for centuries. With reading material for Divinity, Medieval History and Psychology Honours, it facilitates as a convenient and resourceful library in town.
On the 8th of April, owing to student demand, the University announced an extension for the opening hours of St Mary’s College Library. This came after a long period of requests from students who felt they would be benefit if the library could further the hour it closes.
Until last year, the library was open at 9:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. from Monday to Friday. Through the ‘You Said We Did’ service (available to view on MySaint) many students expressed a requirement for the library to operate for longer hours and also over the weekends. Responding swiftly to this, the Library carried out extension trials in the 2017-18 session, allowing students to work till 19:45 in the evening. Once the trial concluded, the University received positive feedback and greater requests for retention of the extended hours on a permanent basis.
However, this was not sustainable that year. The University was unable to hire new staff due to the fixed budget of that academic session. They carried out the trial by delegating staff from the Main Library. Responding to one of the requests, Assistant Director (Public Services and Communications), Ewan McCubin wrote, “We managed to deliver this (extended hours) with no significant increase in staffing costs but it put too much strain on our cover at the Main Library..”
Finally, this semester, the increased hours was made possible permanently. The Library is now open from 9:00 a.m to 10:00 pm through the week. The doors were changed to accommodate a digital system of ID Card recognition for students to access the library after 19:30 pm.
“This would be such a game changer”, read a comment from a student on the University’s Facebook post announcing the news. From Saturday 4th of May until Sunday 19th of May inclusive, the library is also expected to open over the weekend. Clearly, the quick actions taken by the staff in response to the suggestions and requests from students has been effective and commendable.
Students are reveling in the new found study space opening just in time for revision and exam weeks. The space fills up quickly in the morning and, due to its beautiful view of St. Mary’s Quad, stays filled throughout the afternoon and early evening.