Apr 02, 2020

Extend library hours permanently

The Henry Madden Library is a 350,000 square foot Wi-Fi hotspot. It is the largest building on the Fresno State campus the largest library between Sacramento and Los Angeles.

It is home to more than one million books, 116,000 DVDs, VHSs, CDs and LPs and has subscriptions to more than 60,000 online journals, magazines and newspapers. It houses up to 4,000 people. Students can check out periodicals, headphones, Flip cameras and laptops.

But, most importantly, it serves as a quiet place to study for those who do not have one.

Yet, the Henry Madden Library is open only 82 hours a week. Compared to the Miriam Library at Chico State, at 95 hours a week, and the Sacramento State University Library, at 94 hours a week, 82 hours seems insufficient, considering all three universities are experiencing the same budget cuts we have with more or less the same amount of students.

What was the point of the $105 million renovation if not to help ensure student success? Perhaps the library was remodeled to accommodate the 20,000 plus students. Perhaps Fresno State sought an upgrade because the last time the library saw anything remotely modern was in 1980. Or perhaps the Henry Madden Library was reconstructed for the sole purpose of bragging rights — ding ding ding ding ding. We have a winner.

The extension of library hours during finals week is not enough. It is time for the administration to untap our greatest resource and expand the Henry Madden Library hours permanently.

And if that is not an option, perhaps the library is just too large.

How much exactly does a building that size cost to heat in the winter and air condition in the summer? How much does it cost to keep the interior lights on throughout the night or power the 30-foot high LCD TV screen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Use that money to keep the library open longer. Students deserve it, and not only during finals week.

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