Well, the numbers are in. The decision to keep Cabot library open 24-hours per day during reading period and exams was a success. Cabot averaged 108 patrons at midnight and 39 at 3 a.m., according to the Cabot Staff. And while use was relatively slow between 4 and 6 a.m., "people really start[ed] coming in again around 7:30 a.m.," Cabot Librarian Lynn M. Schmelz told The Crimson.
The recent success of Cabot library indicates that a 24-hour library on campus is a must. However, simply having Cabot open is not enough. While it is the most centrally located of the undergraduate libraries on campus, it is still relatively inconvenient for Quad and River residents. In addition, students in the humanities can hardly benefit from the scientific books Cabot has to offer. While we continue to praise Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68, Schmelz and Nancy M. Cline, Larsen librarian of Harvard College, for this recent step, we must also let them know that we do not consider a 24-hour library to be a privilege for which we must be excessively thankful. A 24-hour library is an indispensable feature of any college, and its absence is an embarrassment at a university that prides itself on being the best one in the country. How excited can we get about a change that should have been made 359 years ago?
But since this moment has finally come, we can accept the philosophy of "one step at a time." And as the next step, we propose that Harvard move to keep at least one or two rooms open in both Hilles and Lamount libraries (either instead of or along with Cabot) for 24 hours. These two libraries are more convenient for a greater number of students and are therefore more sensible choices than Cabot.
We are grateful that Dean Lewis listened to us and decided to experiment with Cabot library this past reading period, and we hope that its success will not be an isolated incident. We want to study. You want us to study. Let us study.