As midterm and essay-writing season continues at full speed, there continues to be an increase in the abundance of students inhabiting campus libraries. Our libraries are one of the greatest assets we, the students, have. Libraries, while providing an infinite research resources and a spot for working between classes, create what many consider to be the perfect motivational study environment. The combination of frantic paper rummaging and furious key typing, in combination with the packed floors of libraries such as Weldon and Taylor creates quite the essence of studying! If that kind of atmosphere doesn’t make you feel pressure to work, I don’t know what does!!
We are so lucky here at Western to have many beautiful library facilities, study rooms and seating areas. There are options to study on conversation floors, in private study rooms, silent areas and even in individual study rooms. We have access to hundreds of computers, printing stations and photocopies. Online, students are provided with access to hundreds of databases, journals and encyclopedias. If you walk into any library, there will be many staff ready and eager to help you with research, finding books and articles, or even just getting started on a tricky or lengthy assignment.
Despite the abundant resources we are fortunate to have, however, the shear size of Western’s study body can mean that finding a spot in a library during midterm season can be very tricky!
Having said that, I am always disappointed when I see seats being “reserved” in libraries –these reserved seats are taking seats away from the rest of the student body. Students reserve seats even though they might be somewhere else entirely –in a two-hour lecture, in a different building or running an errand on campus. Too often, especially in high-demand library spaces such as the Ground and Lower Ground floors at Taylor library, seats are taken up, yet are vacant!
It is completely understandable for a student to leave their spot for a moment to print a file or use the washroom, but it is unfair to the study body when a seat just casually has a coil book on it, but no one at it. Often too, the materials used to reserve the seat are library books –taken right off a nearby shelf and tossed open on a desk to mark one’s spot. In addition to being inconsiderate to other students actively looking for seats, this is additionally unfair to library staff who later must reshelf books that were never used for reading or research.
I think that if you plan to use a desk in a library, then you need to come early and use the desk. Don’t come early and “mark” the desk –it costs another student a spot when you won’t be back for hours.
So the next time you are leaving your spot in the library, pause and remember how frustrated you would be, or have been, if all the seats we reserved though not being used; take your “pretend” study books with you and go study with them! Don’t just use them to take a library seat away from a UWO peer! We need to help each other out!