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Success! Library opening hours extended

By Ben Wilson


King’s students keen on burning the midnight oil have been rewarded with the announcement that, as of approximately March 1st, many of the university’s libraries will be introducing extended opening hours as a ‘pilot’ scheme.


The decision came in response to an online petition, spearheaded by KCLSU, which was signed by 1615 students in less than a month. Indeed, the response was so enthusiastic that these changes are estimated to come into place several weeks before the petition is even scheduled to close.


Although specific details of which libraries are involved have not yet been released, the intention is to implement a 1am weekday closing time in most of them, as well as longer weekend hours and a 24/7 summer period that will let Medical and Dental students get their fair share of exam-time cramming.


Additional improvements include new self-service laptops available to be borrowed from all libraries, the refurbishment of the Maughan library’s Postgraduate Research study room, the purchase of more Undergraduate Law books for the Franklin Wilkins Building’s library, and a PAWS room in the Weston Education Centre library in Denmark Hill which is open around the clock every day of the week.


Furthermore, the KCL library website now features a ‘You Said, We Did’ section, with improvements to student comfort, library resources and stationary, as well as better studying facilities all mentioned as areas which have been addressed so far. Such widespread changes would seem to herald greater future levels of interaction between the student and administrative bodies, with KCLSU VP for Student Activities and Facilities Kirsten Johnson stating that “it shows the power of students when they let us know what they want”.


However there will doubtless be many thinking that King’s have been somewhat slow on the uptake of such a scheme, particularly when placed in comparison with other UL and Russell Group colleges. For a university which claims to be ‘dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, learning and understanding in the service of society’, one must hope that this is just the start of progressive movement by the King’s administration to improve the learning experience of the student community it also owes a service to.


Whether you’re working on a dissertation, preparing for exams or simply trying to broaden your range of knowledge, extended library hours are undoubtedly going to prove invaluable for many in the future. According to Charlotte Richardson (VP for Student Media and Engagement at KCLSU) “Degrees are hard. Studying is tough. Revision is draining. The worry and strain students shared with me when discussing access to libraries was actually very distressing. In my opinion, a student should not have to rush from their 9-5 weekend job just to get to the library before it shuts at 6. Students should never be put in the position where they cannot get access to a computer, a textbook or a quiet space to work in.”


So start stockpiling Monster and load up on stationary, because those halcyon days of being able to blame a lack of studying on your library closing early are soon to become a thing of the past.



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