Let’s Keep Paley Library Open 24/7

I would like to say that I have had great experiences at the library. There is one thing that I would like to suggest though. Currently I am at the TECH center studying because the library is now closed. The noise level here does not allow me to study and focus very well. I would like to suggest to the library and university personnel that the library stay open either later or also 24 hours as it would be a great be a great benefit to those students that focus best in a quiet atmosphere. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your response and what can be done in this matter.

We are pleased to know that you would describe your experience with Paley Library as “great”. Thanks for sharing that with us. We take the experience you and all the other members of the Temple community have at our libraries seriously, and we are always open to ideas for improvoing that experience. Requests for additional hours is a suggestion we do get from our user community from time to time. If the library offers a great experience, why not make that experience available for even more hours.

The library administration has discussed whether keeping the Paley Library open 24 hours every day or even five days is feasible. Adding more hours is primarily a budgetary matter. Not only would we need to keep Paley open, but Tuttleman as well, since that is the location of the circulation desk. Currently the Paley Library (including the Tuttleman service desk) is open 118 hours a week (Note: Our official opening hour M-F is 8 am, but we unofficially open the doors to students at 7 am). You can imagine the added cost of keeping the buildings open plus the added staff needed for the additional hours (50 of them).

Still, we understand the value of being open to students around the clock. If the University was to move ahead with plans to build a new library facility it is likely you would find a 24/7 or 24/5 section of the building. This allows for a smaller space for those students who are seeking a quiet study area at all hours of the night. We recently received a report compiled by another research library that collected data about the number of large research libraries that are open 24/7 (the Association of Research Libraries includes 113 of the largest research libraries in North America). Of the 66 libraries that responded only 6 reported being open 24/7. Another 17 reported being open 24/5 (same as the TECH Center). Another 24 reported being open 24/7 or 24/5 – but these libraries did have a separate facility or section of the main library dedicated to 24/7 or 24/5 hours.Another 13 libraries, like Paley, were open 24/7 only during finals. Yes, for an approximate 12-day period during reading week and finals Paley Library will remain open 24/7.

We will continue to monitor the usage of Paley Library to see what the late night hours traffic is like (currently – quite light).  We will also consider the number of students requesting additional hours (currently – rare). We do appreciate your suggestion and use of Paley Library. Thank you.

What’s Up With Requiring a Login At Paley?

What were the reasons behind the recently implemented decision to require us to login to search the library catalog?


Thanks for getting in touch with this question. Others may be wondering the same thing. But first, allow me to clear up a few things about the library catalog.


Here at the Temple University Libraries we refer to the catalog as Diamond. You can call it whatever you like as long as you know how to get to it and how to use it (but if you don’t – just ask any of our friendly staff for assistance). You should know that there has never been a requirement to login to Diamond, nor is there currently a requirement to login to Diamond. We make our library catalog freely accessible to the global Internet community. Try it from off campus sometime – you won’t be asked to login just to search our catalog. If you are – let us know immediately because something isn’t working right.


That leads me to ask what has prompted your question. Not knowing exactly I’ll address two possibilities. First, you might be asking about the new procedure in Paley (actually in place since September 2010) where students must login to get access to the desktop on any personal computer in the library. We made this change for several reasons. First, we are now more compatible with the policy used in the TECH Center – students always had to login there – and now we have the same policy. Second, we moved to requiring a login at Paley because we found that many non-Temple guests were getting on our computers and then students were having a hard time finding a computer they could use. We wanted to come up with a system to better serve students and our guests. With the login requirement, guests can no longer login – and it is also really important for students to logoff when they are done with computers so no one can get on one using their account. Now guests use dedicated computers in the Tuttleman area of the Library.


BTW, if you are in Paley Library, keep in mind that we have several “search the catalog only” computers – no terminal login ever needed – you’ll find them at the “Ask Here” desk, by the circulation desk and in the Media Services area.


The other possibility is that you are trying to access a subscription-based library database (such as those from Ebscohost, JStor, or many others) when you are off campus, and are being asked to login with your account. That has always been the case as we require Temple community members to authenticate themselves in order to access one of our licensed databases from off-campus. On campus, once you login to the desktop and open a browser, you should never be asked to login to the database – it knows you are from Temple when you are on campus. Again, if you are on campus and are being asked for an account, please report that to us right away.


So that summarizes why we added the login requirement for the computers. However, just to reiterate, there is absolutely no login required to access the library catalog. If you are just using the catalog and being asked to login, please report this to us as it is an error that we would need to correct.

What Do I Have To Do To Get Quiet In This Library

Many people go to Paley’s 3rd floor to study in a quiet area. However the floor is getting noisy and noise everyday. People talking on the phones, chatting with their friends, eating meals on the table. And I do not see any body commenting or stopping them from doing so. I’ve personnally asked some of people to quiet. Can you keep 3rd floor quiet please? Where else do i have to to study quietly on the campus if the library is too loud?


Have you noticed that it’s difficult to find a truly quiet public place these days. People on cell phones on public transportation. People talking loudly in movie theatres. People listening to music so loudly you can hear it through their headphones. Noise in public places is a societal issue because in general people are less considerate of their fellow citizens than they used to be. Paley Library – in fact all libraries – are not immune from this problem. A library used to be equated with golden silence, but that is no longer the case.


We appreciate that you are sharing your concerns with us, and it’s great that you have attempted to solve the problem by asking others around you to be quiet. What we’ve heard from our library colleagues at other institutions is that the most effective resolution to noise in the library is when students self-police and police their fellow students. When asked to hold down the noise, most students will politely comply, though we know this is not always the case.


What we’re attempting to do about the noise challenge is to use a “zoning” approach. We have specified different areas of the Paley Library as quiet zones or group study (noise-tolerant) zones. For example, the first floor west is a group zone – and noise there is tolerated. However, the east side of the first floor is a quiet zone, and we expect students to study quietly there. The east side of the second level, on the other hand, is a noise-tolerant zone. So please make sure that you are studying in one of the quiet zones. It is possible students will not be aware of which zone they are in. So if you are in a dedicated quiet zone and other students are making noise please do remind them they are in a quiet zone – all these zones are clearly marked when you enter them.


If you find a group of students are being particularly noisy or a single student is speaking loudly into a cell phone, first consider pointing out to the offending party about the quiet zone location. If the student(s) continues to be noisy, please bring it to the attention of a staff member who will intervene. Please bear in mind that at some late hours or on weekends we may not have sufficient staffing to attend to every noise situation.  

Please DisplayThe Food Policy More Prominently

Hi! I noticed that nobody really seems to follow the food policy at all. I’m constantly seeing people with chinese food and other pretty smelly stuff not only on the ground floor but in the stacks as well. It’s not only the smell that’s gross but also the “eating sounds” and the mess that’s usually left behind. I’ve even seen people come to the library with food, eat it, and leave. Any way that the policy could be more prominently displayed?

Thanks for sharing your concerns about students eating what our policy refers to as “messy or aromatic” foods when in the library. We too are concerned when students ignore the policy rather than self-police their food consumption in Paley Library. Our policy does allow covered beverage containers and small snacks. As you point out, it can not only be distracting or even disturbing to other students, but food and beverage messes make the Library a less enjoyable place to study and it invites bugs and mice to boldly go wherever they can find food.

We currently display the policy on posters on every level of the library. This semester we added reminder cards about the food/beverage policy on computer tables throughout the first floor. Despite our efforts we acknowledge that it will be impossible to enforce this one hundred percent in a building of Paley’s size. Although the door guards will flag students bringing in obvious bags or containers of food, many students can easily conceal it in their book bags. Our food/beverage policy is one of self-enforcement, which may not always work. It is not our intention to police the policy and ask those violating it to leave the building. We want everyone to feel welcome in the building.

Please know that this isn’t a problem unique to Paley Library. We hear the same concerns about food and beverages from our library colleagues around the country. However, given the lack of good food consumption areas on campus and the food truck culture of Temple, it really does amplify the problem at Paley Library. What we have heard from our colleagues is that the best solution is for students to police each other. Simply reminding another student about the food policy may be the most effective way to encourage your fellow students to follow the policies. You might remind other students that the Library has a cafe on the first floor which is open for food consumption. 

If you see an egregious violation of the policy you may wish to bring it to a staff member’s attention. A staff member is able to bring the policy to the attention of students, but again, we typically will not ask students to discard their food or leave the building. We hope that over time more students will voluntarily observe the policy – and over the past two academic years – we have seen a significant reduction in the amount of food being consumed in the Library – thanks to both our cafe and signage. It may be a bit of exaggeration to say that “nobody follows the food policy at all.” Just look at all the food being consumed in the cafe. Notice how many students are only eating snacks – no messy foods. The vast majority of the students in Paley Library are following the policy. Unfortunately, there is a minority that ignores the policy. We hope to do better in the future with help from you and other students.