University students will now need Wesleyan IDs to access Olin Library in the evenings. Olin will be joining other buildings on campus that require a card swipe for access in the later evenings, including Exley Science Center and the Freeman Athletic Center. This change is the result of discussions about the safety of students and public access to the library.
During the regular semester, Olin will require swipe access beginning at 9 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays and at 6 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays. The regular closing hours, which are 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. 11 p.m. on Friday, and 10 p.m. on Saturday, will remain the same.
Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian Daniel Cherubin, who sent out a campus email about the change, noted that the shift was primarily rooted in student safety concerns.
“When I arrived at Wesleyan last summer, I had been informed that there had been various incidents in Olin in the evenings, mainly involving theft of items or unsolicited encounters,” he wrote in an email to The Argus. “Remember that Olin and the Science Library are both student-run in the evenings until closing. Many of our [evening] workers felt they were put in unsafe positions. (The SciLi is only [accessible] at night with your [WesCard] already because of the swipe access on Exley.)”
“Through discussions with the Wesleyan community and Middletown community and, most importantly, our student workers who worked the late night shifts, there was widespread approval for a nighttime swipe access system to be installed in Olin,” he added.
Olin Library will use the same system as Exley and other campus locations but with hours that better reflect the use of the library. The library will continue to be open to the public during those hours, despite the change in card access.
“We are still open to the public and if a non-Wesleyan person would like to use Olin between 9 PM and 2 AM, they can contact us for access in advance,” Cherubin explained.
The hours will adjust based on the time of year so as to accommodate for the needs of students, as they have in the past. These times include exam periods, summer session, and winter holidays. Despite the fact that Olin will now have “swipe-only” hours, it will remain open to the public for longer hours than many libraries in the region, according to Cherubin.
“Again the reason we are trying this is to respond to our users needs about safety,” Cherubin reiterated. “This is not closing off Olin, but rather addressing the concerns of our users and especially our student workers.”