Library takes out desks, removes privacy

Library takes out desks, removes privacy

Cartoon by Jenny Yang

Grace Kim, Online Chief

The last library rule made it so that students could not eat or drink in the library, but at least they had the walls of the individual study desks to hide behind.  Well, guess what.  Those are no longer there either.

According to Media Center Specialist Theresa Burlas, in regards to the dramatic change of removing the quiet study desks along the far left wall of the library, the desks were removed for two reasons.  The first was due to the fact that students were illegally texting and eating in those desks.  Second, she felt that the space could be utilized more efficiently to put in more group study tables.

The first reason is disappointing.  Just because students were using desks inappropriately does not justify the disappearance of one of the most valuable study tools the library offers.

Many students use those desks when they have nowhere else to go to focus quietly to study or do schoolwork.  The large tables can be more distracting, and the cafeteria is an even worse place to study.

Throw “study buddies” in the mix, and that’s a recipe for a C rather than an A on that quiz a student might be trying to cram for.  Those private confines insured privacy and encouraged intense concentration on just the student and his or her study materials.

Instead of taking away a privilege from all students, only those caught misusing the desks should be punished.  Those misbehaving students should just be sent straight to the office for a demerit or two to teach them a lesson.  Leave the desks there for students who truly need them.

On the other hand, the library has recognized an issue that should definitely be addressed: spatial arrangement.  The library can become crowded quickly during certain mods.  Analyzing the available space and thinking carefully about what arrangement of desks would be best to fit the most students in it is a great idea.

The library is rather small, and there should be more desks to fit in more students during popular off mods so that everyone has a chance to be in a place to study if they need to.  The initiative in trying to utilize the available space in a more strategic and careful way deserves nothing but praise.

In the end, however, the individual private desks should still be there.  Those desks served positive academic purposes, and they will surely be missed.  Despite this, the new arrangement provides for the opportunity to see a new and improved library that will make up for the loss of the study desks.

Grace Kim is Online Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.