Groups take priority in library study rooms


Graig Bracey

According to library policy, groups have priority over individuals for study rooms and may ask single users to leave a room.

Dan Elson, Editor-in-Chief

Second-year communications student Maggie Brown said she waited on the second floor of Truxal Library the week before spring break because she needed a quiet place to prepare for a midterm and hoped to get into one of the 20 study rooms, which are quiet and private.
Less than 10 minutes after she got into a room and unpacked her backpack, however, three other students knocked on the door and asked her to leave. They told her groups are allowed to kick singles out of the rooms.
Not wanting a confrontation, Brown packed up and left. But she said the experience left her rattled.
“The experience to me was so upsetting that literally,” she said, “I’m … a 33-year-old student crying tears because I feel like I was wronged in some type of way,” Brown said.
Brown said she wouldn’t step back in the library again.
Library officials confirmed that their policy for study rooms is to allow a group of two or more students to kick out a single person.
Some students said the policy is fair and others disagree.
“If there’s someone in the single room, most likely they’re going to be asked to leave,” first-year transfer studies student Jacob Voorhees said. “I think that policy should be enforced. So I’m all for it.
The library is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and closed on Fridays. The policy started in fall 2012. The policy is displayed right outside of every study room on the library’s second and third floors.
“Note that groups of students (two or more) always have priority to use these “ the policy reads. “Individuals working alone may wish to visit the silent study room on the third floor.” That room is located on the third floor.
Brown said when the group asked her to leave her room, another student was napping with the lights out in the room next door on one side and two students were socializing in the room on the other side.
She said she asked a librarian to remove the sleeping student so she could do her work in a study room but was told the staff doesn’t “really police the policy.”
Second-year English student Mikayla Borneman, who often uses the rooms to relax and listen to music in a quiet space, said she sees students sleeping in the rooms “all the time.”
First-year architecture student Matthew Barravini said he sometimes eats his lunch in a study room.
“Sometimes I prefer to be alone by myself, especially when I don’t want to eat in front of others or bother somebody else,” Barravini said.
Voorhees said the library should be for school use only.
“This library is made for reading, studying [and] using the computers,” Voorhees noted. “If you’re using it for entertainment value, then you can just do that at home or on one of these tables here. You don’t need a whole private room just to do that.”
But first-year business administration student Matthew Lewis said it isn’t fair that groups can kick out one person.
“Not everyone comes in a group to a library,” Lewis said. “So if you’re there studying and you have a place you shouldn’t be afraid of someone kicking you out of it.”
Still, Lewis said the staff shouldn’t monitor the rooms.
“I think we’re all adults,” Lewis noted.
Borneman said she has waited 45 minutes for a study room. She said she uses the study rooms by herself once a day to relax, attend Zoom meetings and study for exams. Borneman also noted a group kicked her out in December.
“They had a group project,” Borneman said. “And I was sitting there literally not doing schoolwork. So I totally get it. And they were like, ‘Do you mind we use this? We’re working on a group project.’ That happened once. I wasn’t even mad about it because I wasn’t doing any schoolwork.”’
Borneman suggested the library should have a system for reserving rooms.
“If you’re with a group of people, [for example], we have two hours in this room, and then we have to leave. I feel like that’s like the best-case scenario,” Borneman said.
A library official said the staff tried a reservation system in the past but students didn’t arrive and leave at times they signed up for.