The University has come under increasing pressure from students after only opening the library for one day out of the four day bank holiday weekend just before exams start and assignments are due in next week.
Second-year exams are scheduled to start next week and third-year students have deadlines for assignments; but the University has refused to open the library and has only made other spaces available instead after lobbying from YUSU.
However, this still leaves students preparing for exams and writing essays without access to resources in the library and many have also complained about the lack of information regarding this issue.
Cecile Ichard and Romain Cormary, exchange students from France, came back to York on Wednesday expecting to be able to access resources over the weekend but did not realise until Saturday morning that the library was shut for most of the bank holiday weekend.
Cormary said: “The library should at least be open in the mornings or in the afternoons, but not being closed for three days in a row.”
“We only learnt about this today, the University should really have thought about this before.”
The library is shut on Good Friday and over the weekend, re-opening on Easter Monday from 10am-6pm and then normal hours thereafter.
Jon Somerscales, a second-year student studying Electronics and Music Technology, commented that: “I am not usually organised, but luckily I got the books out I needed before Easter. If I hadn’t have got them out though, it would have been very useful [to have the library open].”
Ben Humphrys, YUSU Academic Affairs Officer, has said that he lobbied the University to reconsider and open the library over the weekend; but without success.
He admitted: “Part of the issue is that the closure came to my attention very late on – only this Monday – which I take some responsibility for.
“We did propose a couple of alternates to the library – including using Sabbatical Officers and Security Services to keep it open or getting in a security firm, but they were unwilling to take the risk that that entails. What we need to do now is make sure that we close this gap so this doesn’t happen again.”
The University has agreed to make some James Dining Hall and the Brian Blessed Centre for Quiet Study available for study. However, many students are unaware of these arrangements with several students sitting outside James Dining Hall not realising that this space was available to them as well.
Olivia Overtington, a first-year English literature student, said how she came back “expecting the library to be open” but she didn’t even know where the other available places were, describing the situation has “just a pain for us.”
Unfortunately, the University was unavailable for comment.
If you wish to make a complaint or suggest improvements to help prevent this situation again, you can visit: http://www.york.ac.uk/library/forms/suggestions