Samantha McCready
Samantha McCready
December 12, 2018

Extended library hours receive mixed reviews

The special hours are available Sunday through Thursday nights | Photo by Maria Nazareth Araújo

Students looking to study until the early hours of the morning are in luck. Campus library hours have been extended until 3:00 a.m. until the end of exams.

The UNB Student Union and UNB Libraries came together to offer the special hours, which are available Sunday through Thursday nights. The trial period began on Nov. 12 and will stop on Dec. 17.

Alison Balcom, UNBSU vice-president internal, was the leader on the pilot project. She said extended hours are necessary because not all university students study at the same times.

“I realized that today's students require unconventional and flexible services that aren't always served in traditional ways,” Balcom said. “This is especially true for off-campus students, as well as those who may have work or other obligations beyond being a student during the day.”

Balcom said she has heard positive things about the extended hours from the student body.

“The new library hours have been useful to students and provide comfort to those anxious about completing work as the end of the semester draws near,” she said.

Nick Melanson, a third-year business student, said he has benefited from the extended hours.

“It gives you the opportunity to do less last-minute studying, which is good, especially during exams,” he said.

Jenna Curwin, a third-year student in the faculty of science, also believes the extended hours will be helpful for students.

“I think it’s good that students now have a monitored, safe, quiet and comfortable place to study on campus if they feel they need to study late,” Curwin said. “People had to resort to studying in their rooms before and it’s good to separate your study and sleep space.”

Critics of the extended hours say it promotes and allows for study habits that negatively impact sleep, health and academic success.

A study conducted at Harvard University last year determined a strong link between students’ sleep schedules and grades. Students with regular sleep schedules who received a good night’s sleep achieved higher GPAs than their peers.

Sarah Corcoran, a third-year kinesiology student, said she believes a good sleep is more important for success than a late night study session.

“I guess sometimes people do need to cram all night, I just think it’s not beneficial because your brain usually retains more information when you get a good sleep,” Corcoran said.

She recognizes that extended hours could be good for those who have a lot to study.

Students who wish to study at the Harriet Irving Library after 10:00 p.m. must present their UCards to enter and remain in the building. Balcom said this policy is in place for security reasons.

Balcom said the UNBSU hopes the extended hours will continue in the future.

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