Bioethics Library Re-evaluates Hours
Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 02:11
Administrators in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics are considering extending the Bioethics Research Library’s hours to accommodate student demand.
The library is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12 noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. Anita Joshi (SFS ’15) proposed extending the hours, suggesting to 9 p.m. on weekdays, on Georgetown Ideas in early November.
“It’s an idea that I’d been thinking about for a while, because the Ethics Library has always been the place where I study, but the hours are just so short,” Joshi said.
Designed to mimic reading rooms found at Oxford and Cambridge universities, the library, located in Healy Hall, seats 60 students and contains more than 32,800 books relating to bioethics.
“A lot of people I talk to don’t bother studying there because they just assume it’s always closed,” Joshi said. “The only time I’ve seen it crowded is during finals when their hours are extended.”
Administrators in the Kennedy Institute of Ethics were glad to hear of student interest in expanding the use of the space.
“I thought it was great because it was something that we had been discussing doing internally,” Kelly Heuer, design coordinator for the institute, said. “We had just begun conversations about how we could try to reach out to the undergrad community so we could get a sense of how they use the space, what they find valuable about it and ways that we could further those things.”
The library’s interim director and technology projects manager, Mark Hakkarinen, said that administrators are also looking into opening the space on Sundays to accommodate student need while allowing the space to continue to be used for events in the evenings when the library is closed.
In order to fund the project, the library has reduced its number of journal subscriptions by grouping subscriptions with Lauinger Library. Additional funds will come from other organizations on campus that use the library as an event space.
The bioethics library was originally designed as a space for scholars in bioethics, though in recent years, administrators have renovated the library to make it more conducive to student use.
“There’s been a very deliberate and concentrated shift over the time that I have been here, and you can see the way that’s changed policy in the inside of the space,” Heuer said.
“I love that students are there because they’re being exposed to those ideas,” Hakkarinen added. “Every person that comes in is a person that we can sort of convert to this Jesuit ideal of ethics.”