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Students react to lack of library on Boston University Fenway campus

Fenway Library
Boston University Fenway Campus Library is located on 132 Riverway. The library is currently closed until further notice. KATHERINE DALY/DFP STAFF

The Boston University Fenway Campus Library on 132 Riverway is permanently closed, and the University is in search of alternative spots for additional study spaces on Fenway campus.

BU’s Fenway Campus, which is over half a mile from the Charles River Campus, has not had a library for its residents since its opening in Spring 2022.

“(The library) wouldn’t reopen, that building would not be part of it,” BU spokesperson Colin Riley said. “They’re just looking into spaces on the (Fenway) campus that can be used to make additional study spaces.”

Thomas Vice, a sophomore in the College of Fine Arts and last year’s president of the Fenway Hall Council, said he reached out to his graduate in resident assistant with initiatives that would give Fenway students some of the same resources that students living in the center of campus — like an open library. 

“The response wasn’t positive,” Vice said. “Any initiatives that I had thought to put in place went by the wayside just due to lack of organization.”

The University Housing department did not respond to the request to comment.

Camille Herzog, a sophomore in College of General Studies who lives in the Riverway House on Fenway Campus, said there is a lack of awareness on BU’s part when it comes to getting back to the dorms, especially late at night.

“I was in the Mugar library until like 2 a.m. some nights, and then had to walk back or take the late night bus all the way back to Fenway.” Herzog said. “It was just such a struggle to have to take that time out of my bed when it’s like valuable sleep time during one of the most important weeks [finals week] of the year.” 

The Fenway BU shuttle stops running at 9:45 p.m., leaving students to walk back to the dorms later at night. Using the MBTA Green Line from Mugar to Fenway is not very accessible to students.

Herzog said there is a safety issue of walking back to Fenway Campus so late at night.

“It takes even longer if you’re not willing to walk in the dark as a young girl like me,” Herzog said.

Students were also not told any information about the Fenway library upon returning to campus, nor were they informed of any helpful alternative study spots that were close by, according to Herzog.

“I asked my advisor last year once where I can go for private rooms because I was going to do a meeting with somebody,” Herzog said. “He said she would get back to me, but I didn’t end up hearing back about that.”

Lewis Levy, a sophomore in CGS, said BU did not give many options for places to study in Fenway campus, leaving students to stay on campus between classes and studying.

“You’re on campus for like 12 hours because if you want to study you probably won’t be able to find something on Fenway campus so it makes you stay a lot longer,” Levy said.

Vice said he was advocating to reopen the library last Spring.

“There’s only one study space or two study spaces in Fenway campus other than that library,” he said. “It would be a really great resource for students like us on finals week.”

Campus Editor Sangmin Song contributed to the reporting of the article.

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  1. Your writing is very clear and concise and to the point—very interesting read!

  2. This is very sad to hear. I could not accept or agree to having my student, especially a daughter, walk by themselves in the dark after 10pm. I sure hope that with this article, BU steps up the process and get something worked out and fast. It cannot be that hard; it just needs staff members to start coming up with various ideas and making a decision – BUT FAST!