Lariat letters: We love that students love the libraries, says Dean Orr

We always appreciate hearing feedback from the student community about our services in the Baylor University Libraries. [Friday]’s editorial raised excellent questions about the availability of study spaces on-campus, particularly during peak seasons like final examinations.

The Moody and Jones Libraries were constructed when Baylor University was considerably smaller, so we have certainly noticed from semester to semester the need for additional study spaces. Since I arrived at Baylor in 2007, every renovation we have done to the Moody and Jones Libraries has resulted in additional, flexible study and learning spaces. As noted in the editorial, the renovation that resulted in the Garden Level Study Commons is one of our most popular study spaces. This year we added about 24 tables to the Study Commons, and thanks to a generous donor we upgraded and expanded the seating in the Garden Level lobby area. We love that our students love the libraries and we are working to provide the best resources and spaces available to promote and support student success.

As in past semesters, we are extending our service hours this week to support students during final examinations. Moody and Jones will be open until 1:00 a.m. throughout each weekend during finals, and until 3:00 a.m. on this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and next Sunday. During these extended hours the entire library will be open and our staff will be available to assist students. When our library service areas are closed, our study spaces that are usually open 24-hours, 5 days a week will remain open additional hours during final examinations. In fact, the only time these spaces will close during finals is on Saturday night, May 9, at 1:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. While these study spaces are open, the Starbucks area of Moody is available along with the large, silent study space in the Prichard Family Study Commons on the second floor; the Garden Level Study Commons; and the Moody elevator lobby areas. During these periods we expect that there will be plenty of space on hand for those who decide to study throughout the night. In addition to remaining open and available additional hours during finals, we always accommodate the increased number of students who visit Moody and Jones during this peak period by placing additional tables throughout the libraries to create additional study spaces.

We realize that despite all of these efforts to accommodate student needs for study spaces during finals in Moody and Jones that things get tight. During the last finals period we had a peak of nearly 1,300 students in Moody and Jones at the same time. 1,300! During a single hour we had 658 people enter the Central Libraries! We are working on future plans to create additional study spaces in Moody and Jones libraries and also will work with our other libraries and partners across the campus to do our best to provide the resources students require for success. Again, we love that you love the libraries and we strive every day to make them work as best as they can for you. If you have additional suggestions, please email me at

-Pattie Orr
Vice President for Information Technology and Dean of University Libraries