The library of the Basic Medical Science Centre (EOK) is open day and night from 30th October until the end of the year as part of a 60-day-long pilot programme. The project was launched by the leadership of EOK and is run by the Central Library, the Students’ Union and the Budapest Medical Students’ Association (BMSA).

University citizens can visit the library located in EOK all day and all night every day, including weekends and festivities. Based on a survey on student and staff satisfaction carried out in the Spring Semester a decision was made to start the pilot programme at the end of October. According to Judit Hegedűs, Director of EOK students have an important part in the programme as they are on duty during the night.

“Students from all six faculties applied for the job lasting from 8 pm to 9 am. As foreign students are regular visitors at the library, one of the criteria was the knowledge of conversational English. 18 people from the 52 applicants were chosen for the job and 5 of them are international students.”, Judit Hegedűs said.

The coordinator of the group is Zsombor Mátyás Papp, a third year student at the Faculty of Medicine, whose task was to organise the shifts and set up the communication channels.

The Central Library organised a course for the students taking part in the programme, where they received information on their duties as librarians. According to Péter Szluka, Director of the Central Library the students working night shifts at the library will only act as supervisors, as visitors can have access only to books and documents that are to be read on the premises.

“Services requiring librarian qualification, such as borrowing and returning books are not available during the night, however visitors can enjoy free Internet use. The university libraries operate on full capacity during the exam periods, though the one in EOK is busy during term-time as well due to its closeness to the lecture halls.”, Péter Szluka said.

Previously, the library in EOK was open from 9 am to 8 pm, however based on the students’ feedback they would use it later in the evening as well. Even though the Central Library offers the possibility for non-stop studying, its capacity is limited. To compensate for the lack of room there, the idea of extending the opening hours of the library in EOK arose.

The number of visitors at the library is being monitored during the project which will give an idea for the organisers of what opening hours they should consider in the future. The pilot programme costs one million forints, which is provided by the Directorate of EOK.

“This sum covers the remuneration of students taking part in the project and the establishment of security facilities, such as increasing the number of security cameras.”, Judit Hegedűs said.

Orsolya Homonnay-Bukovenszki
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek