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Rumor has it: ASG quells King Library speculation

By Kathleen Clyburn
On February 28, 2014

The Associated Student Government (ASG) addressed rumors that King Library may no longer be open for 24 hours at Tuesday's meeting. During the student concern portion of the meeting, several senators discussed this rumor, which has been circulating since the inception of the Armstrong Student Center, a building that also has 24-hour access.

However, Peter Thorsett, who is in charge of Strategic Communications for University libraries confirmed that this is, in fact, just a rumor and King will remain open 24 hours.

Part of the student concern involved the counting of heads in King Library. Students feared this would mean the library would close if there were not enough people using it.

"It is true that we are counting heads," Thorsett said. "The library has done this forever essentially. We are constantly assembling statistics that allow us to ensure the best possible services for our students."

The head counting is not used to track traffic in King, but rather to gather statistics on what is needed, such as more computers or study tables, and to determine which parts of the library are not utilized by students and can be faded out, Thorsett said.

The gathering of statistics for the library is part of the Miami 2020 Plan. The goal of this plan is to challenge each department of the university to make improvements for students as they move towards the year 2020, he said.

One improvement King Library has made is the creation of a dean-student advisory council.

The new library dean, Jerome Conley, who was recently confirmed into the position, has taken the initiative to form this council, which allows students to advise and give input to Conley on student matters, Thorsett said.

"We value student input and this is clear with the creation of the dean-student advisory," he said. "We wouldn't change something like the hours without going through this council first."

Sophomore Emily Kaufmann said she feels the library should always remain 24 hours.

"I would be upset if it wasn't open 24 hours," she said. "I think students use it all hours of the day and night for a resource or just a quiet place to go and do homework away from any distractions. If it were not 24 hours it might affect how some students study and get their work done."

Students are also concerned that because Armstrong Student Center is open 24 hours, King Library may not remain 24 hours.

Thorsett said this will not affect the hours of King.

"There are services King offers, such as books and computers, that Armstrong cannot," he said. "The library exists to serve the students."

For the time being, students can rest assured that King Library will be open for their late night study sessions, their scrambles to finish group projects and for their morning coffee in the café.

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