The MSU library is a building that students tend to undervalue. Yet, students feel entitled to it as a building that needs to be at their disposal at all hours, regardless of if they actually utilize the building at these times.
As a student employee who works until closing time and has for over a year, I can honestly say that the library usually has about 10-15 people there until close. That is a high approximate. This leads me to wonder why MSU students insist on keeping the building open until 2 a.m. even though only a small proportion use the resources past 10 p.m. Utilizing the building until these late hours only 1-5 times a semester (including Finals week) is a moot point.
Recently, the MSU Library requested to close the building at midnight instead of 2 a.m. because of how few students use the library at night, except for dead week or finals week. However, once students caught this suggestion, there was an outrage capitalizing on their entitlement to have the building available as much as possible, regardless of their appreciation or utilization of the resource.
I know many students who would agree that the library needs to be open until 2 a.m. if not later. But, this is hypocritical, as the majority of these students do not enter the library past 10 p.m. Students want the option,but don’t utilize it, advocate for library advances or consider talking to the library staff as to why they would argue for an earlier closing time.
First, closing at midnight would save money. Neither student employees nor staff would need to be on shift until 2:30 a.m. The money saved by not having to pay for these extra hours could be allocated to increasing resources for the student population of MSU, such as more technology for checkout, or could be allocated over time to renovate the library.
Most universities take pride in their library and view it as the pinnacle of campus. For MSU, this is the furthest from the truth. The library hasn’t been renovated to fit the growing student population for over 20 years, although the student population has increased each year since 2013. Anyone who has been in the library during regular business hours would see how the building is in dire need of expansion and renewal.
Thus, students should not feel entitled to have the library open until 2 a.m. just in case they want to use it. Instead, they should feel entitled to having a library that fits the needs of an expanding student population. But, sadly, it seems as though the library falls further down the list of priorities for students and those planning the current and future conception of the university. Perhaps allowing the library to close at midnight would finally make the student population wake up and utilize, respect and appreciate a building that is meant to be the founding building of a flourishing academic community.