Gavin Rea, the deputy librarian, said that for the past two years “it has been open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year, as many overseas students are unable to go home for Christmas”.
Since the library security desk doubles as the university reception, and there is sometimes only a single member of staff on duty, the extra expense comes to less than £20 an hour at night-time, he added.
Although he admitted that late-night occupancy can be “very low”, or dominated by overseas students using computer facilities to contact home, Mr Rea stressed the “unbelievable flexibility” that the policy offers students. They can “spontaneously turn up and do a couple of hours’ work when the mood takes them”.
Read full story. At the University of Winchester, we give out swipe cards on a 24 hour basis which can be used to access one of the open-access computing areas (most first year students, however, live in networked areas of the campus), but the library isn’t really required all night.