Jafet Library celebrates the successful implementation of 24/7 during reading and exam period
This article was produced by the University Libraries’ Information Services Department
For the first time in the history of any university in Lebanon and quite possibly the Arab world, AUB’s Jafet Library opened its doors 24 hours a day, seven days a week (24/7) during the fall reading and exam period. The goal was to provide students with a convenient, accessible and quiet reading environment that would facilitate their studying and research and help them do better in their finals.
“Several challenges were encountered to keep such a large facility operating around the clock. A major concern was to find enough staff members willing to work for twelve consecutive hours while getting minimal benefits in return. In the end, it was really thanks to the Circulation Staff in Jafet Library and their dedication that we were able to provide this wonderful service to AUB students, and these staff members did it at a time when the political conditions were not at their best in the country” said the University Libraries Director, Dr. Lokman I. Meho.
According to Circulation Librarian, Ibrahim Farah, “remarkably, but not surprisingly, every day between January 21st and February 2nd, Jafet was occupied in full capacity (approximately 500 students) during regular hours (i.e., 8:00 am-12:00 am) and by 3:00 am there was still over 300 students studying there and over 100 by 5:00 am.”
“We faced minor incidents such as a student insisting on entering the library along with her cat and other students unintentionally breaking some chairs” stated Tony Assaf, a library staff who was working on these night shifts. Hassan Fawwaz, another library staff expressed his astonishment at the high number of students who used this service and went on to say: “Regardless of our physical exhaustion, we were happy to provide this service that contributed to our students’ academic success. Students were expressing gratitude all the time for opening Jafet 24 hours.”
Senior Business student Nayla Mazloum said, “the library environment is conducive to studying, focusing, and productivity. Just like most American universities, this practice should have been in place long before.”
Senior Food Science and Management student Saria El Khazen said, “opening 24 hours provides us with an appropriate study environment, away from all political and social distractions, something that contributes to our success in the final exams.”
Given the popularity of the service, Dr. Meho promised to keep offering it to students every fall and spring semester. “AUB should be proud of this new service. After all, how many universities in the Middle East and the Arab world can claim that they open their libraries 24/7?”