Midnight Madness at NLC livens up library

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Illustration by Estefania B. Alonso

Correction: The phone number for the library is 210-486-5387.

Northeast Lakeview College will extend library hours to midnight for the week leading up to finals.

By Janelle Polcyn


To help students finish end-of-year assignments and study for finals, the Northeast Lakeview College library is staying open for a few extra hours this week.

The library hosts Midnight Madness May 4-7. A tradition for the past five and a half years, it provides quiet study space, reference resources, writing and presentation technology, light refreshments, stress relievers, raffle drawings and academic games.

Normally the library closes at 9 p.m. with a few stragglers, but librarians noticed during the last week of the semester, more students would stay until closing time. During Midnight Madness, the library stays open until midnight.

The extended hours help students prepare for finals and give them a place with the resources to do it, NLC librarian Robert Vaughn said.

“The idea was born because most of us graduated from universities, and most major universities, the libraries are basically open 24/7, so we thought we’d see what we could do to make our services available to the student body for a little bit longer than our normal operating hours,” Vaughn said. “We started passing the idea around about keeping the library open until midnight and the idea was born. Our dean signed off on it and everybody here volunteers to stick around a little bit later. One of the groups we find gets tremendous benefit out of it are single parents. It gives them the resources they need to come get some quiet study time in.”

Many students here have just as many classes as they would at universities. However, the library did not stay open as late as those at four-year institutions. So the librarians at NLC came up with Midnight Madness to keep the library open later for one week of the semester.

“We do it spring and fall, and it’s always the week before finals,” Vaughn said. “It’s one of those things that since its inception, it’s just grown exponentially. We were originally just keeping the place open, offering some light refreshments. We have since added activities. Quite the event, actually.”

As the event grows, more activities and organizations are added to the list.

“On Tuesday night we are having what are called stress therapy animals of San Antonio,” Vaughn said. “They’ll bring some stress therapy animals out that they typically take to like the Wounded Warrior Project or terminally ill cancer patients, stuff like that. Studies have shown that animals help to relieve stress so we think it’s kind of helpful to have them come out. They are in the library. We’ve got one big cat who’s about 20 pounds and this thing just plants himself on our desk.”

Midnight Madness is one of the most attended events on campus, Vaughn said. The library recorded in fall 2014 about 2,000 students over the course of four days at a campus with an enrollment of only 6,000. Students from all of the Alamo Colleges are welcome.

“It’s just too beneficial to our student body not to have a program like this,” Vaughn said. “Any student that wants to can come in. We actually see SAC students because we have the SAC at NLC (classes). It has occurred where we have students coming in all the way from Northwest Vista.”

For more information, call the library at 210-486-53387 or visit www.nlclibrary.libguides.com/midnightmadness_spring2015.


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