University Libraries Publications


Wide Awake at 4 AM: A Study of Late Night User Behavior, Perceptions and Performance at an Academic Library

Publication Title

Journal of Academic Librarianship

Publication Date


Document Type





24 hour, Late Night, Services, Security


Library and Information Science


The expectation for extended library hours including 24 h access presents many questions about late night library users and the value of this service to the library and their corresponding institutions. Using data gathered about patrons who use the library after 11 pm and before 7 am, a study was conducted to discover who the library users were, what services and facilities they made use of, and what, if any, concerns they have regarding the late night library. The usage patterns provide evidence that that while more usage occurs during traditional hours, users who prefer late night do so consistently. The researchers found the late night library was serving patrons who were cross sections of university community with higher than average grade point averages and retention rates when compared to university averages. These figures can have a significant effect on institutional recruitment and retention presenting the library as an indispensable resource to the community.