No shut-eye at Innis: Students study day and night


Innis Library is proving to be a popular spot for all-night study sessions.

For the first time, the library in the School of Business is open 24/7 during the exam period that ends Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Waves of students have been rolling through the doors beginning around 11 p.m. when other libraries on campus close.

Jennifer King, chair of the McMaster Students Union Student Life Committee, said 65 students used the space for quiet study the first night it was available. Numbers progressively increased as exams were in full swing last week, with up to 400 students coming in at various times through the night at the end of last week. Usage peaks between 1 and 3 a.m., King said.

A security guard and a monitor who conducts a head count each half hour are in the library all night as part of the all-night study program, she added, to ensure students adhere to regular library rules such as no eating or drinking.

Opening Innis Library to study sessions is an attempt to give students a quiet place to work during the middle of the night, King said. As in previous years, the basement of Togo Salmon Hall is open for studying in groups and for free coffee.

“It gets quite noisy, that's been the biggest complaint about Togo Salmon Hall,” she said.

Although research suggests all-night studying isn't the most effective way to prepare for an exam, King said students continue to pull “all-nighters.”

“I do tend to stay up all night and cram as well, although I don't know why,” she said with a laugh. “Sometimes if you're down to the last wire with a couple of exams and an essay due, it has worked. You do it or you don't do very well.”

MSU president Marc Marzotto, who also admits to cramming all night for exams, said students have been lobbying for a quiet study space for some time.

“There's nowhere to quietly study on campus late at night,” he said. “The reality is students don't go to bed at midnight and then go to their exam in the morning. Students make their own studying decisions and we hope this will give them a quiet place to study.”

Normal library regulations are in effect “for the safety and security of our collections,” said Sheila Pepper, University assistant librarian. As well, there are no library services, such as book check-out, available overnight.

The all-night study program is funded through a bookstore rebate programTitles.