Skylar Swearington, a SF State senior and communications major, works on homework in the library on SF State’s campus in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2022. The library is Swearington’s go-to study spot. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tatyana Ekmekjian)
Skylar Swearington, a SF State senior and communications major, works on homework in the library on SF State’s campus in San Francisco, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2022. The library is Swearington’s go-to study spot. (Tatyana Ekmekjian / Golden Gate Xpress)

Tatyana Ekmekjian

Students seek on-campus study areas with more accommodating hours

Due to low occupancy and staffing, SF State’s J. Paul Leonard Library has not returned to its 24 hour pre-pandemic operation.

September 29, 2022

After more in-person classes returned this semester, students have struggled to find early morning and late night study spots. 

In the SF State subreddit r/SFSU, students voiced their concerns and searched for additional information about other study areas on campus. 

Some users have been looking for quiet areas to do Zoom classes. Others want an area to study  during the early mornings and late nights.

Natália Vieira is a first-year graduate student and Reddit user. Due to work and class, the current J. Paul Leonard Library hours don’t accommodate her schedule.  

“Saturdays are the days I feel productive the most, so I try starting [my homework] by 12 p.m. all the way until evening,” Vieira said. “But my room is small and my housemates are loud, so I hate staying at home.”

Because Vieira is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, she has access to Hensill Hall even on weekends. 

“Since the library is not open on Saturdays anymore, my only option is to go to my lab,” Vieira said. “Sundays are the days I wish I could just relax a bit and recharge for Mondays, but since it’s the day the library is open, I have to go on Sundays.” 

George Callacna is a first-year transfer student and Reddit user. Balancing his work, school and social life has made it difficult for him to make it to the library when it’s open.

“I tweak my daily schedule because of the work I do, and the hours I’m given,” Callacna said. “I made my two days off at work to revolve around school, but even though I do spend hours [on homework] those two days, I still find myself at home doing more work.”

Although Callacna has two study areas where he resides, he still prefers doing work on-campus to avoid distraction and the temptation to procrastinate. 

“I find studying on campus to be more beneficial,” Callacna said. “I find myself much more productive, and that’s why I have pushed myself to stay on campus as much as possible.” 

Prior to the pandemic, the library and its counterpart facilities had longer operating hours. 

The Research Commons also used to be open 24 hours, seven days a week.

“We had those late night hours, but frankly, it’s not that we had a lot of occupancy then, but it was just something that worked with the level of staffing available,” University Librarian Deborah Masters said. 

According to Masters, library staff and university police take student head counts to monitor the level of occupancy throughout the library building during different times of the day. 

The level of occupancy varies, but the buildings’ peak hours are mid-day and the afternoon. This also helps determine operating hours.  

“We are trying to populate the spaces and hours that students need and not try and have things where there’s only a few people,” Masters said. 

Along with staffing, low occupancy is an additional reason why the building hasn’t returned to its pre-pandemic hours. 

“You do not want spaces that are sparsely occupied because that’s when people have an opportunity to steal things and for other bad things to happen,” Masters said. 

For the Fall 2022 Semester, the SF State Library is open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Study Commons is open Monday to Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

On Saturdays, the Cesar Chavez Student Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

For all other hours, students can refer to the library’s website and the student center’s website. 

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About the Contributors
Photo of Jenna Mandarano
Jenna Mandarano, Campus Editor
Jenna Mandarano (she/her) is this semester's campus editor for Golden Gate Xpress, where she previously was a staff reporter. She is a fourth-year journalism major and business administration minor who anticipates graduating this coming May. The Bay Area is where she was born and raised, and she has no plans on leaving anytime soon. Aside from being a journalist, she loves going to concerts, watching professional sports and expanding her constantly growing Lego collection that she is also struggling to find space for.
Photo of Tatyana Ekmekjian
Tatyana Ekmekjian, Staff Photographer
Tatyana Ekmekjian (she/her) is graduating this spring with a major in photojournalism and a minor in hospitality and tourism management at SF State. Tatyana has a great passion for the culture, industry and preparation of food. She hopes to express her passion for food through the medium of photography to further her success in the food and lifestyle industry.

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