As exam time begins on Concordia’s two campuses, students are flocking in droves to the school’s libraries in order to get that last-minute cramming in.
In preparation for the barrage of students, Vanier Library on the Loyola campus has extended its hours, and will now be open 24 hours a day until Dec. 22. The Webster library downtown was already open around the clock, but has opened up additional classrooms for studying and has brought in 24-hour security patrols.
Despite these measures, the sheer volume of students can test the library’s resources and ability to accommodate students. Susan Poulin, a security officer at the downtown Webster library, checks student IDs during the night. She said that during the beginning and middle of the semester, she checks in about 15 students every two hours. This past weekend, she was already checking in 100 to 200 students during the same two-hour period, “and there will probably be more during the week,” she said.
Guylaine Beaudry, director of Webster library, said that there is a lack of space in Concordia’s libraries.
“We are confident that if we compare ourselves to other Quebec universities, we will find that we have a lot less library space than they do,” she said.
At 10 p.m last Saturday night &- a time most students are normally hitting the bars, not the books &- the library was close to full. A few work desks and computer stations were open, but the majority of the tables were taken up by students, spreading their books and papers over every open space in preparation for a long night of studying.
“There’s often times when there just isn’t enough room,” said Concordia arts undergraduate student Adrian Saldanha. “And it just isn’t quiet enough &- even on the floors where you aren’t supposed to be speaking.”
He said that as an undergraduate, he often had to search for 15 minutes or more to find a table for group study work. “It tends to die down a bit at night,” he said, “but during the daytime you’re screwed.”
Beaudry said that the university is working on an expansion plan, at least for the downtown campus. They are working on space planning projects and looking to add more square footage to a library that she says desperately needs it. “We need to work on this problem,” she said. “It is so obvious during a walkabout that there is not enough space, not enough seats.”