Library hours should extend, students say

A keycard meets a closed library – Agustin Aliaga ’21

Just an hour after teachers dismiss the final class of the day, the empty hallways of Wilson Hall turn into a ghost town. Yet, the comfortable couches and booths of the second-floor hallway still brim with life, filled with students working on their homework.

     Only steps away, the dimly lit, closed library stands devoid of any student life. Many students wish the library was open, as the relaxed setting of the second floor can make it difficult to get work done effectively.

     “It’s a bit annoying,” Sixth Former Toby Ma said, “to move somewhere else in the school after I’ve already settled down to work.”

     “I do think the library closes a bit too early since I tend to stay long hours for other activities and events,” Fifth Former Nachikethan Srinivasan said.

     Fifth Former Franklin Dai also finds himself at school past 3:15. “I typically stay at school later on Tuesdays and Thursdays while waiting for Mock Trial or Speech and Debate to start,” Dai said.

poll by Austin Zhuang ’22

     Students also find a need for the library in the morning. Ma explains it as a miscommunication.

     “Sometimes the doors will remain locked after 8:00 a.m., even though the librarians are already inside and the library should be open.”

     While the solution may be as simple as relaxing hourly restrictions on ID card access for students, others think that library hours simply need to be longer.

     To this proposal, Fifth Former Matthew Schwartz said, “Yes, definitely. I was in there once and I was trying to do a lot of work and they kicked me out, and it was too loud to do the work anywhere else.”

     Regardless of the cause, students agree that there must be a solution. Many explain that the library is an important feature of effective studying as it is one of the few quiet spaces on campus.

 “The library’s a lot more convenient and quieter than most other spaces in the school, and it’s much easier to access.”

Toby Ma ’20

     “The library’s a lot more convenient and quieter than most other spaces in the school,” Ma said, “and it’s much easier to access.”

     Srinivasan said, “I like to use the time wisely and the library’s quiet environment and resources are often a useful asset when I need it.”

     If unwilling to extend the library’s hours of operation, the school may need to find an alternate solution as students struggle to find other productive spaces.

poll by Austin Zhuang ’22

     Srinivasan finds it difficult to find other effective places to work.

     “I think there should be more quiet spots in and around the school to work since I appreciate the library’s quiet environment and resources,” Srinivasan said. “Pods are convenient but are situated in busy hallways, so they aren’t necessarily ideal.”

     Pods are too open and they’re exposed to all the sounds coming from the hallway,” Ma said. “The street also has the same issue, and it’s usually full for most of the school day and after school. It would be nice to have more spaces where one could work quietly, like the desks outside of the admissions office, instead of more open communal spaces.”

     “As far as I’m concerned, students are detached from any access to other resources in other spaces, particularly printing,” Srinivasan said.

     Fifth Former Matthew Wang said, “My printer doesn’t work at home. One time I wanted to print a worksheet out at 4:29 and they didn’t let me in. That’s really frustrating.”

“I usually don’t use the library to do work. If I want to get work done, I would typically be at the street or in a pod. I think there are plenty of spots to do quiet work in the school as it is.”

Franklin Dai ’21

     However, others find the spaces and hours given to be adequate. “I usually don’t use the library to do work,” Dai said. “If I want to get work done, I would typically be at the street or in a pod. I think there are plenty of spots to do quiet work in the school as it is.”