Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ball State University Classes Cancelled due to Severe Winter Storm; Library Remains Open Except for 3 Hours

On Tuesday, February 13, 2007, Muncie, Indiana received 11 to 12 inches of snow or more, depending on where you were in the city or surrounding area. This was the region’s third largest snowfall in 60 years, according to the National Weather Service. The snow fell on top of an existing four-inch base. Wind gusts exceeded 41 mph on Tuesday afternoon, with visibility dropping to less than a quarter mile, and continued to blow causing drifting through the evening and Wednesday.

Ball State University cancelled classes on Tuesday; however, all Ball State offices remained open, including Bracken Library. As the day went on, Libraries’ staff called to report that they could not drive to work because of the inclement weather and poor condition of local streets and county roads. For this reason, Bracken closed at midnight rather than at its usual closing time of 3 a.m.

Late Tuesday evening, University President Jo Ann Gora announced that the University was closed, effective at 10:30 p.m. and that it would remain closed until Wednesday noon. As conditions worsened, this announcement was later modified to an all-campus closing of offices and classes until Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. The exception was that essential services personnel were required to report for work during the closure. The University’s Essential Services Units include:
· Residence and Dining Halls
· Public Safety
· University Computing Services
· Bracken Library
· Health Center
· Switchboard
· Student Center Hotel
· Heat Plant
· University Gyms
· Indiana Public Radio

Special thanks are due to Suzanne S. Rice, Assistant Dean for Public Services; Jan A. Vance, Periodical/Reserve/Microforms Collection Supervisor; and student assistants Laura E. Shackelford and Max F. Hackman who worked Tuesday night until midnight. Similarly, Suzanne and Jan were first on hand Wednesday morning for Bracken Library’s 7 a.m. opening. They were joined by Diane L. Frankland, Circulation Supervisor, and Bradley C. Johnston, Educational Resources Center Booking/Reserves Assistant, both of whom walked to work to help open Bracken. Additional essential staff members arrived through the day as soon as they could find means to do so.

Thanks are also due to the University’s 28-person grounds crew who worked tirelessly to clear sidewalks, streets, and parking lots to allow students to park and move around campus. This included cleaning the walks leading to Bracken Library’s north and south entrances.

Thanks are also due to the University Libraries’ personnel who, despite the really bad weather, made it possible for the Libraries to provide our students and faculty with services for research and learning.

For more information, contact Arthur W. Hafner, Ph.D., M.B.A., Ball State University’s Dean of University Libraries,, (765) 285-5277.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(3): 2; March 2007. Photo courtesy of Derick L. Brattain.

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