Library sees increase in attendance as hours extend for finals
When final exam week begins, the Charles V. Park Library experiences an increase in student attendance.
Eric Bellmore, manager of web services for Central Michigan University Libraries, said the Charles V. Park Library has seen a 22 percent increase from the beginning of the semester to the beginning of last week.
While an average of 3,541 students entered the library daily during September, there was an average of 4,328 this month tracked by the gate at the doors of the main entrance.
Timothy Peters, interim associate Dean of Libraries, said library attendance has increased from 681,182 people in 2012-13 to 824,452 last year. The increase in library attendance is good, Peters said, especially around exam week.
“It’s providing a service students really appreciate and a place to study during the last couple weeks of the semester,” Peters said. “It’s very nice that we can offer an extra couple of hours to come in and study.”
The main library is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Dec. 12-14. It opens at 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 15-16 but closes at 9 p.m. on Dec. 15 and at 5 p.m. on Dec. 16
The extended hours study on the first floor, operates from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Dec. 12-14. It is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Dec. 15 and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 16.
Bellmore, who has been employed at the library for about three years, said there is a need to extend hours around exam time.
“We just saw the demand was there,” Bellmore said. “(Students) were asking us to extend hours more frequently and the building had enough people in it at midnight when we were trying to close. It just made sense to do so.”
In addition to the extended library hours, there is also a de-stress zone on the second floor that features board games, coloring sheets and puzzle.
“It’s just a way to allow students to de-stress a bit during a long and very stressful time of the semester,” Peters said.
From Dec. 12-14 at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., there is “Dogs in the Park,” where therapy dogs from the Mount Pleasant chapter of Therapy Dogs International stay on the second floor and provide companionship for students.
Amanda Tillotson, Mount Pleasant resident and Therapy Dogs International volunteer, has volunteered for CMU exam week three times. She brings her eight-year-old golden retriever Jake with her each visit.
The 2013 CMU alumnus said the looks on students’ faces is satisfying.
“I love it because students are so happy when they see him and I know a lot of people remember Jake,” Tillotson said. “They just get so happy. It’s great to see how happy he makes other people and it’s great to see how happy Jake is because he loves every single minute of it.”
Bellmore said the goal of the library is to be a hub for studying on campus. Coupled with events the library offers, Bellmore said he is happy students are using the resources provided to prepare for finals.
“It’s been great to do these little things, like the de-stress zone and bringing in the dogs, because we get comments from students who ask when (the events) are coming,” Bellmore said. “It’s working. We have students sitting there who will be hugging a dog for an hour straight.”
Illinois sophomore Jack Pradel said he comes to the library once every couple of weeks during the semester, but he comes every day for finals. He said he believes most CMU students do the same.
Pradel said most CMU students enjoy the resources the library offers during a stressful time.
“A lot of students get overwhelmed and stressed for finals, which makes them do worse than they could if they’re able to relax,” Pradel said. “(The library does) a great job of offering that.”
For more information, visit www.cmich.edu/library.