Last October, an experiment with night-time opening hours was to take place in the inner city library, but that was cancelled at the last minute because of strong protests from people in the neighbourhood. Noise was the main concern. A solution to that problem had to be found first, said university library director Ingrid Wijk at the time. Randwyck also wasn't an option, as security couldn't be guaranteed because of the remote location.
But the experiment was certainly going to take place. That is, after all, part of the UM's quality agreements, the agreed plans for better education funded with money freed up after the abolishment of the basic grant system.
The solution found was that in the upcoming XXL weeks – the weeks before and during the exam weeks when the university library has longer opening hours (18 May until 10 June) – students can go to The Student Hotel during the night. The hotel is located in the city centre, has good Internet facilities and is safe, says Wijk. “In discussions with students, it became clear that this is what they find most important.” Books, printers and computers turned out to be less important for night-time studying. “The idea is not that we should create a library environment but more a place to study.”
Students can only gain access by showing their UM card. With a total of seventy places, there is not a great deal of space for night owls. It will be enough, according to Wijk: “We don’t think students will turn up in hordes.”