Issue: Administrators are looking at changes for the main level of the library, as compact shelving in the basement will take away some of the shelving and free up space on that level.
When students aren’t involved in major campus decisions, it oftentimes makes it harder for the student body to accept the changes.
Take the Hansen Hall parking lot. Administrators had to make a quick decision about the lot before school started and didn’t have time to consult with students about turning green space into a parking lot, administrators said. The result: many students said they wished administrators had consulted them before taking away the signature of Hansen Hall.
Fast forward two months, and now, administrators are looking at changes to the library. Granted the changes – which could include anything from faculty offices to group study rooms on the main level – aren’t final, but up until this point, students have not been consulted. In fact, they probably wouldn’t have known yet about the proposed changes if it wasn’t for an anonymous e-mail sent to the Students’ Association and The Collegian.
As students, that is very disheartening. Most of us have spent countless hours in the library, poring over research materials, meeting with groups for projects or studying for that impossible final. Some students could be incredibly sensitive to any changes since they have spent a good portion of their college career in the library.
Plus, those that use the library most probably have some of the best suggestions for the building. We do appreciate that the librarians have now been given a large amount of control for the project since they – with maybe the exception of pharmacy students – spend the most time in the library. But many students also spend a fair amount of time in the library and may have some great suggestions.
For example, from our use of the library, we’ve noticed that the tables could use more access to outlets. Most students bring laptops to the library nowadays, but they have to depend on their battery to last long enough to finish their project since they struggle to find an outlet close to their workstation.
Another suggestion would be to add group study rooms. Almost every class, whether it’s speech or a sociology class, requires its students to do a group project at some point in the semester. Many times the library’s group study rooms are already full, and The Union can be filled with distractions.
Our only requirement is that these rooms don’t block all the windows and remove the natural light in the library. The current ample amount is our light at the end of the long tunnel of studying. Think how depressing it would be to study for four hours straight if students had no access to natural light. Students could go crazy, or worse, quit studying.
No matter what administrators and librarians decide to do with the library, we as students hope to be part of the process. Administrators must meet with student focus groups, as they have promised, or host open forums. This will go a long way to show that a student’s voice does matter.
Stance: Students must be consulted on this issue, which could have deep implications for their lives and the studying habits of future students.