Nightly visits to the Library
TU Delft’s Library has longer opening hours now. But is the opportunity to study until 2 in the morning really an enrichment? Time to ask some diligent students.
The Library’s opening hours have been adjusted, thanks to student council Oras. Previously, students were always confused about the Library’s opening hours. But for now on there are no longer any ambiguities. As of September 3rd, the Library is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., and during exam periods the closing time is extended until 2 a.m.
Do students make a lot of use of the opportunity to study longer in the Library? Don’t they prefer to study at home at night? And who stays in the Library until midnight?
It’s Friday 10 p.m. It’s peaceful and quiet in the Library. A few students stare at their computer screens, while some other students sit scattered under the ‘cone’. These are mainly foreign students. Bram van Roessel, a Library student porter, explains that the exchange students live close to the campus. The library is a meeting place for them. “That’s the concept of the Library: it’s an educational spot to meet and get to know each other,” Van Roessel explains.
Abdul Hakim, an MSc student in architecture from Malaysia, is one of those foreign students. He’s studying in the Library on Saturday night because he has an important deadline. The reason why Hakim studies in the Library is because the faculty of Architecture is closed during the weekends. “I prefer to study in a studio-like environment,” he says.
Maria, from Greece, is also staring at her laptop screen on Saturday night. She is an MSc student studying water management and is busy writing her thesis proposal, which needs to be finished the next day. “I have a lot of stress,” she says, “that’s why I’m still sitting her - otherwise I’d be out with friends right now.”
Maria studies in the Library every day of the week until midnight and during the weekends until 5 p.m. She used to study with friends, but they have all graduated. She prefers to work at her thesis proposal in the Library, because the faculty of Civil Engineering is only open until 11 p.m.
The added value of the longer Library opening hours wasn’t immediately apparent on Friday and Saturday night, as there were only a handful of foreign students working hard on their deadlines. On Sunday night however a great surprise awaited. The library was packed. Every computer was occupied and it was hard to secure a spot under the ‘cone’.
Hugo Schoenmaker, Van Roessel’s colleague, was sitting at the service desk on Sunday night. He didn’t have a clue as to why it was so busy in the Library. “Students probably go out on Friday and Saturday night, and on Sunday they realize they have to study again,” Schoenmaker guessed.
Daan Houf and Timo Staal were there working together on an assignment for their minor in finance on Sunday night. “The deadlines of the assignments are always on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we work on them in the Library the whole weekend” Staal confirmed.
Houf thinks it’s logical to study in the Library: “Here we don’t have to worry about closing times”. Houf and Staal always work until midnight. Studying until 2 a.m., however, they never do. They prefer to continue studying at home after midnight, and only if that’s really necessary.
A new week has started. Monday night is a copy of the previous Sunday night. Again, the Library is completely full. What is striking is that there are many groups of students studying together.
One of these groups is the ‘die-hard analysis group’ of Nicole Mooibroek and Martijn Lugten, MSc students in construction management and engineering. Every Monday after dinner they depart for the Library for their weekly analysis night. The choice to make sums together in the Library was easily made. “There’s a good study atmosphere here at night,” whispers Mooibroek. During the day, she thinks it’s to busy in the Library, and so prefers to study at her faculty.
The die-hard’ analysis group usually leaves the building around 11 p.m. “But in the exam period I sometimes stay until 2 a.m., especially the night before an exam” says Lugten. Mooibroek thinks 2 a.m. is too late. She’d rather start studying at 8 a.m. than study until 2 in the morning.
What else is good to know about studying in the Library? A few tips from some experts. According to Freek Dijkema, security at the Library, the busiest periods in the Library are on Sunday night and Thursday afternoon. “At those times, the library is packed, except in the ‘cone’”.
Overall, the extended opening hours of the Library are a success. “It’s nice to have a place at the university that’s always open” concludes Houf. But studying until 2 a.m., that’s too crazy for all students.