Bill Bryson Library forced to reduce opening hours due to staff shortages

By Clara Gaspar

The Bill Bryson Library will be shortening its opening hours due to unforeseen staff shortages, it emerged last week.

The library’s Twitter page announced that from “Saturday 13th January to Sunday 11th February, Bill Bryson Library will close every day at 22:00, with staffed service finishing at 21.30.”

When asked about the motivations for this change, library staff told Palatinate that the library was facing “operational challenges” and “didn’t really have a choice” but to shorten library opening hours.

The resignation of three members of staff over the Christmas holidays left the library with little time to react and recruit new staff for late shifts.

According to the Library’s management team, the limited late-night transport to and from the centre of Durham makes recruiting for the late-hour shifts even more difficult.

However, the decision has caused dismay among several students.

Daisy Balmont expressed her opinion to Palatinate:

“I have an assessment due tomorrow which I need to use short-term loan books for as well as the quiet provided by the Bill Bryson.

“However, due to the Library not being open 24 hours, I am facing extra time pressure and having to look for alternative study spaces after it closes.”

Marek Urawski, a second-year Law student, expressed his disappointment at the new opening times: “The first thing to point out is that the Library is this term not only not 24/7, but fundamentally only open until 10.

“Seeing that it used to be until 12 last year and the influx of Stockton students using the facilities, it results in the library being always busy and finding a place to study is more commonly seen as some kind of miracle, especially during the day.

“Given that we also have lectures/tutorials during the day, it also means that there is limited time to use the library – and that’s why having it open at night is really important.”

Photograph: Sam Vickers via Flickr and Creative Commons

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