The Shapirov University Library — affectionately known as “UGLi” by University of Michigan students — was buzzing with activity Wednesday night as it’s the only 24-hour library on Central Campus this semester. As midnight approached, a steady stream of students continued to enter the building, indicating that other buildings on campus had closed for the night.
On Thursday morning, about 40 students could be seen on the first floor of the Shapira Library, with even more students seated at desks on the upper floors.
UGLi on Central Campus and Center of Duderstadt (abbreviated as “Dude”) on North Campus are the only campus buildings with 24-hour access. Dude is open 24 hours every day — except for holidays — while UGLi is open 24 hours Monday through Thursday, with reduced hours on weekends.
University spokesperson Kim Brookhuizen said the lack of 24-hour access to UGLi over the weekend is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has labor shortage throughout the country. Broekhuizen said the university has no plans to extend the hours at UGLi to seven days a week.
“The reduction in university library hours and the delay in returning to night hours is partly a result of changes in the labor market that have occurred as a result of the pandemic,” Brookhuizen said. “At this time, (the University) has no plans to extend Shapiro’s hours to 24/7.”
As final exam season approaches and many students rush to prepare for exams and papers, some are expressing concern about the lack of available places to study on campus at night. The Hatcher High LibraryUGLi’s nearest neighbor, only open until 7pm on weekdays. Most other campus buildings close at 6:00 p.m., although some are available by M-card until 10:00 p.m. Michigan Union open until 2:00 a.m. during the week and on weekends. But for those looking for a place to study at 3:00, UGLi or Dude are the only options.
Brookhuizen added that the university is working to extend the opening hours of the Hatcher Graduate Library, aware of the lack of study space.
“(The university) is working to get enough staff so they can extend the evening hours at Hatcher Library, which currently has few evening hours for instruction,” Brookhuizen said.
At 12:15 a.m. Thursday, LSA freshman Zoe Limberopoulos was one of the night owls studying at UGLi. Because UGLi is busy, Limberopoulos said it would be helpful if the other buildings opened later.
“I think sometimes it can get a little unmotivating when it feels like you’re just in the same place every night,” Limberopoulos said. “I think if there were more options, I would be open to it and definitely explore those places more.”
Limberopoulos also said that since UGLi has many students in the evenings, it can be difficult to find a place to study.
“Sometimes when I try to come here with a friend or a couple (of) friends, and it’s between 8 and 11, it’s kind of hard to find a seat, especially if you’re trying to find a seat with other people,” Limberopoulos. said.
LSA seniors Nora Li and Lutien Liu were also at UGLi around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Liu said Central campus building it’s her favorite place to study on campus, so she’ll be happy if she can stay there after 10:00 p.m. Both Liu and Lee agreed that they would like to be able to use the computer lab and study facilities in Angel Hall. Fish also late at night.
“I think it depends on the time, during the day (at UGLi) sometimes it’s too crowded (for) me,” Lee said.
LSA sophomore Kurt Beyer works as a library assistant in Circulation Access Services at UGLi. He said the library was busier than he expected during his late shift, which ends at midnight.
“I noticed that it gets really busy from 10 to midnight, which I didn’t really expect because all the seats on the first floor are filled,” Beyer said. “It was really crowded late at night, which I’ve never noticed before (this semester). It just seems like there aren’t enough places on campus for people.”
Beyer added that is ongoing construction on the third floor of UGLi is likely to affect congestion on other floors of the library.
“Once the third floor reopens, about 250 more study spaces will be available,” Beyer said.
University in general enrollment enrollment has grown from 43,651 students in 2015 to 51,225 students in 2022, an increase that Beer believes has implications in terms of the availability of learning space on campus.
“How many new buildings with lots of study space have really opened?” Beer asked. “That’s why the campus feels a lot tighter. It’s (the university’s) focus on revenue rather than improving the experience for people who are already here.”
Daily reporter Carlin Pendell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.