Library safe, calendar on hold

The good guys won this round. The NIU administration reconsidered a proposal which would have closed Founders Memorial Library down over semester break.

The energy-saving plan was rejected by students and faculty members because it would have impeded on valuable research time available over the break. Many professors and graduate students feel the free time available during the break is of the utmost importance to their research. Closing the library during the break would have pressed them to do more research during the school year.

A backlog of research work could become potentially adverse to the educational goals being pursued by undergraduates because teaching assistants and professors could be more tempted to concentrate on a pet research project rather than class lesson plans. They also need the library facility to prepare upcoming lessons for the spring.

While the administration still will close the library down with other NIU offices on Dec. 23, the faculty and students forced a reconsideration of the proposal and convinced the powers-that-be that the library should remain open from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The concession may not have been a downright win but at least it gives the faculty and graduate students a reasonable time period to get work done.

The library and semester break research is saved for now, but the skirmish over scheduling reconsiderations isn’t over yet. The faculty needs to remember that student sentiment helped to keep the library open, and now they should help to keep the school calender the same.

NIU administration wants to push the school calendar back a week, but this would ultimately hurt students in the job market. It needs to be halted just as sure as the library proposal was halted.