To the Editor:
As an OU faculty member and Alden Library frequenter, I was annoyed this summer to discover how few and inconvenient the summer library hours were. (The hours were 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Friday. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday.) It seemed unbelievable that at one of the largest academic institutions in the state, my students and I were unable to access the library in the evening or on weekends.
I figured that this couldn't possibly be normal summer library protocol, so I did some research and found out that it's not. I looked up the summer library hours for all of the 13 four-year, state universities in Ohio, and here's the number of weekly hours for each, in descending order: Ohio State: 107.5; Wright State: 86.5; University of Toledo: 84; Kent State: 83.5; Bowling Green: 83; University of Cincinnati: 77; Miami: 76.75; Youngstown State: 71.5; Shawnee State: 70; Cleveland State: 64.5; University of Akron: 63.5; Ohio University: 53; Central State: 46.25.
Now, you can do whatever statistical analyses you want on this data, but briefly: the average number of hours is 74.4. This means that OU is nearly 30 percent below the average. Even the fact that we are not last offers little redemption when you consider that Central State University has fewer than 2,500 students, about 10 percent of OU Athens' enrollment. If we're going to use the "we're just keeping up with other universities" argument in other matters (ahem, salaries, cough, cough), then can we at least apply it also to the academic heart of the university?