Morgan Golliver, News Editor
The Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library staff announced a new study room policy early this semester that changed how students are able to sign out and access study rooms commonly used for group projects.
The new policy entails that if one student was to sign out a study room, then that student gets the room for one hour, but if two students sign out a room they can get it for up to two hours. The maximum hours a group can be in a study room is three hours. Anyone requesting a room must also leave their ID card with the Circulation Desk when signing out a room.
Christina Huffaker, coordinator of access services, said that the reason for this new policy is to address challenges the staff has seen in the past.
“With the old policy, we saw that individuals were checking out a room for up to six hours, which prevented other students from using the space to do their work,” she said. “The new policy allows there to be a timeframe, but if a student needed more time they could renew it for the same amount of time they requested it.”
Huffaker noted taking and filing student IDs is a new policy and is essential in making sure students use the study rooms for what they are for.
“What we saw with the old policy was that some students were checking into a study room and then leaving, also preventing other students from using the space,” Huffaker said. “By taking and filing student IDs, it helps keep the students in the building and makes sure that they are using the room for its purpose.”
The library staff is also looking for responses as to how students are reacting to the new study room policy, which Huffaker strongly encourages all students to submit their thoughts.
“I am pleasantly surprised with the feedbacks we have received so far as there have been a lot of generous responses,” Huffaker said. “Some of the responses reflect on benefits of the old policy, while other responses have discussed a possible comprise of the two policies. These responses are very helpful as we are always looking for ways to adapt and change our study room policies to reflect the needs of students.”
Huffaker explained that the staff will have another meeting over the summer to compile all the feedback, find trends in the responses and try to fit in what the students are asking for and what they use the study rooms for in any revisions the staff makes to the policy.
The online survey regarding study rooms is still on the UC library website and will continue to stay up until the end of the semester.
Junior Casie Farrell has signed out study rooms in the past for group projects and likes the new study room policy but also finds some flaws in it.
“I like it because it gives us a place to spread out and have work space, but I don’t like the regulations on it because sometimes a project requires time, not a time limit, and with our busy schedules, sometimes one session in the library is all we have time for,” Farrell said.
In terms of changes, Farrell said there should be a “first come, first serve” basis and no time limit.
“If you signed up for the room ahead of time, then I think you deserve to have that option,” she said. “I don’t think it should be a walk-in policy because other people need it as well, but if you need five hours as a group or as an individual in there, then I think it’s fair to sign up for as many hours as you need to get your work done.”
Sophomore Jessica Macheda has had several occasions impacted by the study room rules and said that the group policy should change in terms of time limits.
“I believe that having an hour per student is a good idea to an extent, but the catch is that a group can only have the room for three hours,” Macheda said. “I think one should be allowed to have one hour per person no matter the group size. If I have four people, I should be allowed to have the room for four hours if needed.”
Macheda also addressed other changes on what the rooms should be used for.
“I also think if the rooms are being used for tutoring purposes that they are allowed to be in the room for as long as they need,” Macheda said. “I also believe the library should come up with a chart that is presented telling students what hours are open and what hours are closed for study rooms.”