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Library Blues

Emma Sieben, Editor-in-chief

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A common complaint that I hear from my peers is that the only quiet study space in the school is barring students from admittance.

“Why is the library always closed?!” they holler.

And they have a point. We pay school fees to gain access to resources, like the books, computers, and subtle air of concentration that the library is supposed to provide. Why should we be forced to pay for things that we aren’t allowed to use?

However, there is another side to this story.  I sat down with Ms. Cummings to get the librarians’ perspective about their “closed door policy.”

Ms. Cummings was very open about her struggles to keep the library a safe, available space, because she “hate[s] closing the library,” but the blatant disrespect shown by students makes it difficult for the librarians to do their jobs. She continued by explaining how she had found “pizza slices in between books” and garbage littered across tables and chairs. Furthermore, when noon-hour supervisors were introduced, they were met with rude comments and ignored if they reminded students to dispose of their trash. As well, this behaviour was repetitive, exhibited by many of the same people across grades and genders.

Their solutions thus far have been attempting to keep track of repeat offenders, which is difficult due to the rotation of staff throughout the week, and closing the library at the beginning of lunch. The latter solution was imposed in the hopes that students would eat first, before entering the library, so that the garbage would be minimized, and according to Ms. Cummings, this has been “mostly successful!”

I explained the anger I had been hearing from my peers who wanted to study, and she apologized, because, as she made clear to me, “she would be frustrated, too” if it were her in our shoes. It’s an unfortunate situation, because everyone is being punished for the rudeness of a select few.

So, what can we as students do to regain access to our library?

The answer is simple: be conscientious and aware of how your behaviour affects others, and just be a decent human. If a staff member asks for your cooperation, listen to them. These are simple solutions that can open doors for us, so why are we insisting on acting in ways which close them off?

If you have any thoughts on the library closures, or any alternate solutions, comment below!

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