The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU reduces library hours amid budget struggles

Library experiences 6% budget cut, will reduce closing time
Owen, an incoming transfer sport management major, studying at the Terrell Library, Sept. 6.

The Terrell and Holland libraries will be closing earlier as a result of budget cuts this semester, no longer open 24/5 hours.

Before the fall 2023 semester, the libraries were open 24/5, opening on Sunday and then not closing until Friday evening. Since Aug. 20, the library implemented a new schedule, reduction in hours impacting Sunday – Thursday, midnight to 7:30 a.m., Beth Blakesley, WSU Associate Dean of Libraries, said the decision to reduce hours was made due to budget challenges.

“Every year we’re trying to figure out how to make money stretch even further. So we’re always looking at having to cut journals or ask for extra bail-out money from central administration,” Blakesley said. “Basically all the things we subscribe to or license like journal packages, tend to go up in price every year … The publishers have us over a barrel as the saying goes. We sort of have budget issues perennially,”

The libraries new hours will be 10 a.m.–11:45 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 a.m.–11:45 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 7:30 a.m.–7:45 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.–7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Blakesley said the libraries were hit with a 6% budget cut this semester along with other departments on campus. The libraries have also struggled with journal inflation from the online subscriptions and licenses used to give students access to research databases.

“We’re mostly state-funded because we don’t have students enrolled. So, we don’t get tuition dollars. We don’t get those kind of funding sources that other colleges get. So we get the money that the state gives the University,” Blakesley said.

Blakesley said another factor that went into the decision to reduce the hours was the low amount of students using the library during overnight shifts. The overnight hours were heavily requested by students but was no longer maintainable.

“There were four to 12 people in the building overnight. So when we look at cost-benefit and what we’re spending, unfortunately, the hours was something that was not getting a lot of use and it costs us a lot of money,” Blakesley said

For WSU students, the libraries have always been a vital location for their academic success. Senior broadcast major Monique Ledesma uses the library frequently to complete her assignments due to her apartment having weak internet. However, Ledesma and other students will now be forced to find a new place amid the library’s new schedule of reduced hours.

Ledesma said she thinks the reduced hours is unfortunate since so many students use the library due to a lack of resources at their apartments or dorms.

“They’re depriving a lot of students who depend on going to the library for the Wi-Fi to get their work done. So I don’t think it’s fair that they cut the hours,” Ledesma said.

Junior broadcast major Dharma Torres-Aguilar said she typically goes to the library four times a week. Torres-Aguilar said the library is very helpful for her schedule because she is a part of the WSU band which makes her studying days longer.

“I usually spend a whole day in the library and then I head to band practice which ends at 7 p.m. So there were days when I would go straight to the library after practice,”  Torres-Aguilar said. “I would stay there until midnight and then walk back home,”

Torres-Aguilar said she hasn’t had to stay at the library late yet due to it still being the beginning of the fall semester but knows that will change when midterms approach. She said she will have to adjust to studying at home due to the reduced library hours which will be difficult.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.