By Hannah Grace Cotton
Montevallo’s Carmichael Library announced a new 24-hour schedule. The library, located on Bloch Street, will keep its ground floor doors open all hours Sundays through Wednesdays.
The 24/4 Library is a pilot project that began Aug. 28. This adjustment allows students to safely use the space’s resources into the night. According to library director Charlotte Ford, this project has been in the works for over a year. It was initially supposed to launch fall 2021, but was postponed due to COVID-19.
Systems librarian Sheila Brandt and former circulation manager Kaycee Ledbetter originally proposed the project. Comments from students led organizers such as Charlotte Ford to look into how UM could provide this service.
Ford mentioned that some inspiration for the space came from Huntingdon College, a liberal arts college in Montgomery, which began offering a similar service a few years ago.
The ground floor of the library proved an ideal spot due to its quality lighting, tables, computers, vending machines and other amenities. Numerous security cameras and a swipe-entry door also allows for a safe space for students.
Previously, the Carmichael Library closed at 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday as well as 12 a.m. on Thursday. Data collected by the library proved that hardly any students checked out books or utilized alternative library services after 12 a.m. However, students that were in the space were there to use a computer or study in a quiet area. Staffing challenges also gave way to the library’s new hours. The 24/4 system let the library stay open longer, without making student workers stay up exceedingly late at night. Thus, there will not be any library staff on duty after 12 a.m.
Students have already begun utilizing the library’s new hours. Even so, the library will be strictly monitored to determine the longevity of the project. According to the library’s website, it is encouraged that the space’s resources are used appropriately and that students look after one another.