The 24 Hour Library: Finals Week
The library is a busy campus location with over 20,000 people visiting during any given week. On an
average weekday at noon you'll catch students wandering around, looking for an open computer in
order to put the final touches on an assignment or check their favorite websites. This hustle and
bustle only becomes more concentrated as the final exam period approaches.
While we're open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday nights throughout the semester, at finals
time the doors to the library are open 24 hours a day for almost ten days straight. During that
time, almost every square inch of the library is packed with students studying and stories of finals
past are whispered like urban legends: Ten pizzas delivered to a group cramming for a chemistry exam,
two young ladies drilling through flashcards in an elevator, and a student napping on a blow up mattress
on the second floor. While the library staff try not to encourage extreme napping or meal deliveries, we
do provide some additional services to help get students through this tough time.
After 10 p.m. a security guard is stationed at the front door, checking for valid Towson IDs as
students come in and out. When the guard conducts rounds throughout the library, a senior library
staff member checks IDs at the door. Library staff also provide free drinks and snacks during the
overnights. We brew fresh pots of hot coffee all night and provide nuts, granola bars, and candy
for students to refuel.
In addition, we give students opportunities to de-stress and take a break when needed. A popular
table each year is the “Relax your Brain” station at the entrance to the main floor. Crayons and
coloring books, crafts, magazines, and an assortment of fun games are replenished each morning.
Also when students are up around the building stretching their legs they may come across tiny
rubber ducks hiding in our book stacks. Students are welcome to take these study ducks home with
them for inspiration.
It may be busy, but the Cook Library staff certainly tries to provide an environment that
is conducive to the intensive studying that is the hallmark of the finals period.
Written by Shannon Simpson