May: For the sake of students, keep Ablah open 24 hours


Brian Hayes

File photo, Ablah Library, 2017

As we enter the fifth week of classes, most students are preparing for their first round of tests — leaving many searching for a late-night study den. Cramming on campus the night before that big exam, however, is not as easy as it may seem.

Ablah Library’s hours have been a topic of discussion in my study group since I began my time at Wichita State. As a group of busy students, we often don’t even begin to study until 9 p.m. — leaving us only three hours Monday through Thursday to study at the library.

At midnight, an instrumental version of the classic “Hit the Road Jack” ushers us out of the comfort of a second-floor study room — leaving us with no other choice than to begrudgingly trudge into the 24-hour study room.

For those of you who have never spent the night in the annex to the north of the library, it’s not an experience you should look forward to. The sound of keys clanking alone is enough to drive a man mad, and the windows surrounding the room make you feel like a fish in a tank — as well as affording an unobstructed view of the cats taking over the campus grounds.

Additionally, the lack of privacy makes it significantly harder to work on group projects without disrupting others.

People who stay in the library past midnight don’t tend to be the same people who would destroy the library. Even if only one person stayed on staff between midnight and 6 a.m., there would likely be more than enough supervision — especially if certain parts of the library were closed.

For instance, if the basement and third floors were closed after midnight, that would still leave plenty of space for students to study late into the night. There would still be four study rooms and two seminar rooms open to booking on the second floor, as well as several other study areas that would remain open on these floors.

The distractions of other groups discussing ideas would be significantly mitigated if students were allowed to disperse themselves over a much larger floor space, and the study rooms would provide additional privacy for those who prefer a more secluded study session.

Perhaps most importantly, the current 24-hour study room could be split into additional study rooms — providing even the busiest students with the opportunity to succeed.