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U. of I. libraries extending hours as result of new funds from student fee

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor
217-333-2177; andreal@illinois.edu

Released 8/27/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A new library fee is opening doors like never before for University of Illinois students.

The fee, passed by Illinois’ Board of Trustees in March, means Illinois students will be able to spend much more time in the library. On Aug. 23, the Undergraduate and the Grainger Engineering libraries began offering significantly extended hours, 63 in total.

The library fee of $200 a semester for new full-time undergraduate and graduate/ professional students supports several initiatives, in addition to increasing library hours, including developing electronic media and digitization; improving information technology services; creating and enhancing tools for online learning and research; and increasing the positions focused on direct support of students’ learning and services.

“The extension of hours in both the Undergraduate and the Grainger libraries demonstrates the Library’s commitment to meeting the needs of current students,” said Scott Walter, associate university librarian for services.

The Undergraduate Library’s new hours: Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. In addition, it will offer “study hall” hours from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The new Grainger hours: Monday–Thursday, open 24 hours; Friday, 12 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight.

According to Walter, surveys of undergraduate and graduate students conducted at Illinois in 2004 and 2005 showed great demand for increased hours in major campus libraries, including the Undergraduate and Grainger libraries.

Students also voted with their feet, visiting libraries in tremendous numbers, Walter said. In 2006 and 2007, combined in-person visits to the two libraries totaled nearly 1.5 million.

“These users utilized the world-class collection, attended workshops and classes, consulted with librarians and took advantage of new and enhanced library services,” he said, adding that the numbers “confirm that the new generation of students continues to place great value on the library as place – a place to study, conduct research, relax and interact with others.”

For more information, contact Walter at swalter@illinois.edu or at 217-333-0318.