Karen Lin, Contributing Photographer

Beginning Oct. 7, Yale libraries expanded their weekday hours to remain open in the evenings, changing the closing time from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Main campus libraries, such Bass Library and Sterling Memorial Library, previously had limited hours due to COVID-19 concerns. These new, expanded hours will be in effect Monday through Thursday every week.

“The change will allow the students to use more resources,” said Jonas Baker, a service assistant for the Yale University Library. “It seems there aren’t many study spaces on campus so we realize the importance of libraries as a space where students can study.”

The decision to expand hours was made by a combination of Yale health officials and a library management board after the group monitored safety protocols during the first month the libraries were open.

Having libraries open for longer hours is something that many students have expressed support for. According to five students interviewed by the News, the expanded schedule gives students more hours to study and allows them for more freedom in their academic lives.

“I think it’s a good thing that the libraries are open later because it gives people more opportunities to work at a time best for them,” Chris Pollack ’24 said.

Other students, including Spencer Staak ’24, have expressed that extended hours will allow them to utilize campus facilities more.

Staak used the libraries infrequently before the schedule change. However, with the increased hours Staak says it will be easier for him to find time to study there.

“I will for sure be going more now,” Staak said. “The longer the hours, the more availability there is. Especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays when with the old hours the library was pretty much closed by the time I was done with my classes. When the hours are expanded it becomes more of an option.”

This increase also allows students to better balance their studying with other outside activities. Many students previously had to choose between studying in the campus libraries or tending to other responsibilities, as the hours did not accommodate for much flexibility.

“I think that the extended hours allow students to pursue more than one interest at a time and not be solely confined to their academic lives during the day,” Isabel Menon ’24 said.

The later hours allow students to follow a schedule that better fits their individual needs, while the previous schedule was limiting, said Eli Kennard ’24.

Students like Kennard often study in their residential college libraries, which are always open. He expressed that he would now be able to study more at the main campus libraries without having to alter his current study habits.

“I’m excited to explore some of the campus that I haven’t been able to see thus far due to my restricted schedule,” Kennard said. “I often don’t start my homework until later and am excited to now be able to study in new environments that will help me maintain productivity.”

Alongside the increased ability to use the library resources, the expanded hours also provide students with a sense of normalcy. As ordinary years have nearly round-the-clock access to campus libraries, students have been craving that typical experience.

According to Staak, the expanded hours makes things feel like “they’re almost normal.”

However, some students expressed to the News that this change might not be advertised to all those who might need it.

For example, there have been few public announcements covering the change, leaving many students unaware of the new opportunities, Staak told the News. However, these updated hours are posted on the Yale Library website.

“The people who were going to the library before have the information,” Staak said. “But I don’t think anybody else really knows.”

The weekend hours for the campus libraries will remain the same: the libraries close at 5 p.m. on Fridays and 6 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Liz Carter | liz.carter@yale.edu